In light of the recent spate of lawsuits nationwide from teachers who were fired or forced to resign for public behavior, the Archdiocese of Cincinnati is protecting its schools’ Catholic identity by asking teachers to sign a contract which includes an agreement to not take part in “any conduct or lifestyle which would reflect discredit on or cause scandal to the school or be in contradiction to Catholic doctrine or morals," according to Cincinnati.com.
According to the contract, employees are prohibited from "improper use of social media/communication, public support of or publicly living together outside of marriage; public support of or sexual activity out of wedlock; public support of/or homosexual lifestyle; public support of/or use of abortion; public support of/or use of a surrogate mother; public support or use of in vitro fertilization or artificial insemination."
Archdiocese spokesman Dan Andriacco told the newspaper that the new contract is nothing new. "There aren't any new expectations of our teachers in the 2014-2015 contract,” Andriacco reportedly said. “The revised wording is just more explicit, in that it lists examples of behaviors that are unacceptable as contrary to Church teaching.”
Andriacco reportedly added that the Archdiocese views schools as a ministry and the teachers as ministers. He stated:
Not all of our students are Catholic and not all of our teachers are Catholic, but all of our schools are Catholic. And we found out from listening sessions around the Archdiocese two years ago – when we developed our Vision for Catholic Schools – that Catholic identity is very important to our Catholic school families.
The Supreme Court unanimously decided in Hosanna-Tabor v. EEOC that the government does not have the right to tell a church who should be teaching its religious message.
In recent years in the Archdiocese, a religious sister was suspended for publicly supporting female ordination, an unmarried teacher was fired after it was learned she was impregnated via artificial insemination, and an assistant principal was fired for publicly supporting same-sex marriage.
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