Monday, September 15, 2014

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Columbus Diocese Affirms Teachers as ‘Ministers’ in Updated Contract

The Diocese of Columbus in Ohio is striving to uphold Catholic identity in diocesan schools by revising teacher contracts to identity impermissible behavior that is not consistent with a teacher’s duties as a “minister,” according to The Columbus Dispatch.

The changes to the contract are nothing new, but are meant to clarify previous contracts, according to the Dispatch.  The diocesan statement reportedly reads:

These in no way alter or modify the original intent of these policies … Catholic institutions should inherently reflect Catholic teachings. While our diocese is open to staff, faculty and students of many faiths and beliefs, it is entirely appropriate and necessary that these institutions, and the employees who serve within them, strive to respect these teachings as set forth in the Catechism of the Catholic Church.

Teachers are reportedly required to uphold Church teaching “both within and outside their employment duties.”  Impermissible behavior includes participating in or publically supporting abortion, and entering into a marriage not recognized by the Church, according to the Journal Gazette.

Last year, a teacher in the diocese sought legal help when she was fired after her same-sex partnership was publicized in her mother’s obituary.  The diocese would not reinstate the teacher, but did reach a settlement with her attorneys, as was reported

The Archdiocese of Cincinnati and the Dioceses of Honolulu,Oakland,and Santa Rosa have announced similar changes to teacher contracts in support of Catholic identity.

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