A diocesan “morality clause” in Louisiana

Bp. Vasa has had a bumpy ride in Santa Rosa in implementing a provision that teachers in Catholic schools not live or teach in open violation of Catholic teachings.

Now I see that in the Diocese of Lafayette, a Catholic school is under attack in the local press for doing the same.  Watch the language choices in the story, found at the site of KATC in Lafayette.

New Morality Clause Ends One Teacher’s Career At Fatima

A new morality clause [a catchy phrase which sounds like something from the former Soviet bloc… but it is actually fairly common in legal parlance] that is now included in Diocese of Lafayette teachers’ contracts bars teachers from being gay, using birth control or being married outside the church, KATC has learned.  [Then KATC has not yet learned how to think.  How can anyone “bar” another person from “being gay”? Or any of those other things?  Dioceses have control over whom they hire, but they cannot bar anyone from making personal choices.]

The new clause has led to the end of at least one teacher’s career at Our Lady of Fatima School, because she is gay. [Because she is “gay” (I hate how that word has been twisted)?  The Church does not teach that it is a sin to “be gay”.  But wait!  There’s more…]

“Fatima School did not ask me to leave. It was because I could not sign my contract and be honest to its content,” teacher Jane Riviere said in a statement. “The leadership was very respectful, compassionate and understanding during this process.”  [What’s this I read?  The Church did not “bar” this person for “being gay” after all?  The leadership was “compassionate”?  The person made her own choice?]

Riviere, a longtime art teacher at Fatima, will not be returning to the school next year because of the contract.  [And now we push it back on the Church.]

“I love this school and wish all the best to everyone involved. While I do not agree, I accept the position of the Diocese,” Riviere said.

It is unclear whether any other teachers have declined to sign a contract as a result of the new morality clause.

The Diocese of Lafayette declined to comment on the clause, when it went into affect and why it was put in place. [Because it is entirely obvious to anyone with half a brain.]

“It is the policy of the Diocese that personnel issues are not discussed in a public forum,” said diocese human resources director Maureen Fontenot.

The new clause is not sitting well with everyone associated with Fatima. Parent Jaci Russo, the president of Our Lady of Fatima Advisory Council — the equivalent of a school board — said Fatima has an amazing group of educators.

“I would hate to think we would ever not renew the contract of a teacher who is an outstanding teacher because of something to do with her personal life,” Russo said.  [That, ladies and gents, is an example of complete confusion.  I suppose Russo would defend some theoretical teacher’s use of child porn behind closed doors.]

But although everyone may not agree with the clause, as a religious and private employer, the Diocese likely did nothing illegally when it instituted the new morality clause, said LSU Law professor William Corbett.

“Some states actually do have state employment discrimination laws that prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation, about 24, 25 states have state laws that say that. Louisiana’s does not. Louisiana’s state employment discrimination law covers all the grounds covered by Federal law, and a few others, but not sexual orientation,” Corbett said.

Corbett said morality clauses are common at both public and private schools, and he’s not surprised that the Catholic diocese in Lafayette is now asking teachers to sign them. [Has the writer also covered what secular schools have done?]

“What is a little bit more surprising is the specificity of this one, that it goes into specific definitions of what it means about morality,” Corbett said.  [That’s because the Church has actually worked this out.  And a clear set of definitions will protect people better.]

While Louisiana law says its legal for morality clauses to include sexual orientation, on the Federal level, employment discrimination also doesn’t include sexual orientation.

“It’s been proposed at the Federal level a number of times to amend the Federal employment discrimination statue to include prohibiting discrimination based on sexual orientation. It’s come very close to passage, but never quite made it,” Corbett said.

The Catholic diocese morality clause also allegedly discusses birth control and marriage.

“Given this is a Catholic school, and a Catholic owned operated school I don’t find it that surprising they do specifically define what they mean by morality,” Corbett said.

FacebookEmailPinterestGoogle GmailShare/Bookmark

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
This entry was posted in "How To..." - Practical Notes, Brick by Brick, Linking Back, One Man & One Woman, Our Catholic Identity, The Drill, The future and our choices and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

46 Responses to A diocesan “morality clause” in Louisiana

  1. heway says:

    I wouldn’t have a problem with this requirement but I would have a problem with Ms. Russo , president of an advisory council. She is obviously ill equipped for her position and is giving ‘bad’ example to the entire council. Furthermore, I admire the teacher who did not sign but did not bad mouth the school ……Maybe the school board, advisors, etc should also sign some sort of statement….

  2. Southern Catholic says:

    The attacks on the Holy Church are coming. Just look at what I read this morning.

    http://dailycaller.com/2013/04/04/students-try-to-banish-catholic-chaplain-from-campus-for-anti-gay-stance/

  3. Mary T says:

    Wow. Just wow. I am running out the door but it would be great if someone could send this “fisk” to the writer of the article and to the outlet that disseminated it. Someone should call them on it!
    Well done, Father Z.

  4. Ralph says:

    Why would a person living a lifestyle contrary to the teachings of the Church want to work for the diocese or in diocesan schools?

    My children go to parochial school. I am sometimes bothered by teachers who are not modeling the gospel ideals in their personal life. I wish we had (or enforced) a similar clause.

    Children are very perceptive. They pick up more than what adults might suspect. The discovery of a respected teacher’s sinful lifestyle could really scandalize and confuse an innocent child.

  5. mamajen says:

    I learned things about some of my teachers years later that I had absolutely no clue about at the time. Some people are capable of keeping their private and professional lives separate, as long as gossip-mongers don’t ruin it for them. That said, I think it’s fine for Catholic schools to have strict requirements. If people don’t like them, they can apply elsewhere. I do think the “being gay” part is much too harsh, unless they are referring to homosexual behavior that might be noticed by others. There are people with SSA who live in accordance with Church teaching.

  6. Bob B. says:

    @Ralph. Children are indeed perceptive, they aren’t afraid to ask pointed questions, either. A teacher can often deduce what the parents think about such things as same-sex marriage, etc, by listening to how students ask particular questions.
    I’m all in favor of signing morality clauses. As a teacher, I was forced out of one school where the administration (including the priest) stated I was “too conservative” in the Faith. My students always scored well on national tests and the turn around in the annual religion test was amazing, but conformity is watering down the Faith and “feel-good” Catholicism is the norm.
    We need to ensure that administrators are part of any morality clauses, however. As most are former teachers, the depth of their religious stupidity is truly amazing and can be traced to Catholic high schools and Catholic colleges, where the Faith isn’t taught (but social justice is). (Look at the two Jesuit Catholic HS nonsense reported from Rochester, NY and Los Angeles, CA last month.)

  7. Nancy D. says:

    Sexual orientation is not a person. A man or woman with a same-sex sexual attraction remains a man or a woman because behavior cannot change one’s gender which is biological. Psychology that is not consistent with one’s biology causes disunity, and is thus disordered. Behavior is not an immutable trait, being male or female is immutable .
    Why would someone who does not support the Faith and Mission of a Catholic School desire to teach at a Catholic School, unless their desire was to undermine Catholic teaching or transform it?
    While it is true that our sinful inclinations are not, in essence, a sin, if we do not desire to overcome our sinful inclinations so that we are not led into temptation, but rather, become transformed, we are, in essence, denying that we have a desire to sin that we need to transform, and thus denying that are sinful inclinations can lead us to sin, which is, in fact, a sin. While there are many types and degrees of disordered inclinations, including disordered sexual inclinations, some more difficult to overcome than others, if we desire to overcome our disordered inclinations, and Love one another according to The Word of God, all things are possible, including our ability to develop healthy and Holy relationships and friendships that are grounded in authentic Love.

  8. C. Dupre says:

    My letter to the general manager:

    Dear Mr. Shenkan,

    Allison Bourne-Vanneck wrote an article concerning the new morality clause at Our Lady of Fatima Catholic School. As a member of the community of Lafayette, Louisiana, I demand that future articles concerning the Catholic Church actually contain what the Church teaches instead of blind rhetoric that at least implicitly casts a bad light on the one true faith.

    “The new clause has led to the end of at least one teacher’s career at Our Lady of Fatima School, because she is gay.”

    The Catholic Church does not teach that homosexual orientation is sinful. However, homosexual acts are gravely sinful since they are a violation of natural law. The diocese is not at fault here, and did nothing wrong in demanding that employees of a Catholic school live Catholic lives. The necessity of this demand is immediately obvious to anyone who will simply exercise any amount of logical reasoning.

    In the future, please have your writers and editors research what the Church teaches and include that information in their articles. In this age of information technology, where the official teachings of Holy Church are available at your very fingertips, there can be few other excuses for this except malice or laziness. The former being gravely sinful, the latter being unprofessional at best.

    See also the following: http://wdtprs.com/blog/2013/04/a-diocesan-morality-clause-in-louisiana/

    Very Respectfully,
    Casey Dupre

  9. Nancy D. says:

    That being said, I think in order to separate the wheat from the chaff, for the sake of Christ, His Church, all who will come to believe and those prodigal sons and daughters who no longer believe, but hopefully, will return to Christ’s One, Holy , Catholic, and Apostolic Church, in which there is no division, the Pope should mandate that before every Catholic Mass, a statement should be read that makes it clear that those persons who profess to be Catholic but deny the Sanctity of Human Life from the moment of conception, and the Sanctity of Marriage and The Family, having denied the truth about the essence of the Dignity of the human person created in The Image and Likeness of God, and thus the essence of God, as apostates to our Catholic Faith, should not cause scandal by presenting themselves to receive The Holy Eucharist.

  10. mamajen says:

    There are many non-Catholic parents who send their kids to Catholic schools for a variety of reasons such as smaller class size, quality of education, discipline and many more (including some shallow reasons like being in with the right crowd). Some teachers choose Catholic schools for the same kind of reasons. It’s not automatically about undermining.

  11. LarryW2LJ says:

    @ mamajen

    As Fr. Z stated, the word “gay” has been corrupted and it’s meaning seems to be evolving (new buzzword). By today’s definition, (I think, and I may be wrong) “gay” now seem to define a person who is living a completely “out in the open” homosexual existance. A person who suffers with SSA, would not be considered “gay”, per se unless they embraced their attraction and lived it out, to the fullest.

    That being said, I agree – SSA is a private thing and is no one’s business. There are many SSA Catholics who struggle with their crosses and live their lives morally and within the bounds of the Church’s teaching. I don’t think that this morality clause would necessarily be directed at them, because they ARE living the way the Church teaches. I think the clause would only be directed at those who no longer desire to carry their cross, and choose to live out their lives in a very public way contrary to Church teaching.

  12. Bob B. says:

    The consequences of not doing something, like morality clauses, is something like this…
    “Two gay seniors at George Washington University say they feel alienated because the chaplain at George Washington’s Newman Center rejects homosexuality, and they aren’t going to take it anymore.”

  13. Mandy P. says:

    ” I do think the “being gay” part is much too harsh, unless they are referring to homosexual behavior that might be noticed by others. There are people with SSA who live in accordance with Church teaching.”

    Of course the article doesn’t specify (go figure) but I wonder if what the morality clause actually states is an opposition in the homosexual *lifestyle* and the author of the piece has translated that into “being gay.” Would not surprise me in the least. There is a big difference between prohibiting someone who is living a sinful lifestyle (which also includes the other categories they define, like contracepting or fornicating and so on), and prohibiting someone based on whether or not they experience certain feelings (same-sex attraction). My guess would be that the contract actually prohibits the lifestyle, which is consistent with the rest of the prohibitions, and not the feelings, but that is obviously a guess only. It would be nice if these kinds of articles would include excerpts of the language so we could judge for ourselves. But I doubt that will ever happen.

  14. catholicmidwest says:

    Wanting to work for the Church while having views and behaviors incompatible with the mission of the Church is rife. Parishes and dioceses all over are full of it. And even farther up it exists. This is because the Church:
    a) is a society largely based on social order instead of ideological purity. This has been the case for about a millennium and a half now. Catholic parents are supposed to automatically produce Catholic children and everyone is assumed to be Catholic unless it’s very clear otherwise; in fact some people claim that everyone is Catholic whether they consent to being Catholic or not. The reality of this line of behavior is attentuated considerably now because so many people leave, but the concept is stronger than ever in the West. It’s a strange irony.
    b) no longer selects people, from that massive polyglot society that is her description, to minister based on their understanding and adherence to the mission of the Church. Many Catholics are completely unaware of the mission of the Church, in fact, and that can include people in positions of real authority in dioceses and parishes. This is a huge problem because if you don’t know where you’re going, you’re not going to get there, rather obviously.

  15. mamajen says:

    Without seeing a copy of the clause, it’s tough to know whether the news report is twisting things, or whether the clause itself is poorly worded. We also don’t have details of the teacher’s lifestyle, other than the fact that she considers herself “gay”. It’s really tough to draw conclusions here. But, again, I support such clauses in general as long as they properly communicate Church teaching.

  16. acardnal says:

    Catholic schools are private institutions. They have a right to expect their employees to live in accordance with Catholic teaching in both their public and private lives. Employees know this when they agree to work at the school. If they don’t agree with the “morals clause” then, just like athletes and other celebrities, they don’t have to sign the employment contract and can find work elsewhere.

  17. Matt R says:

    Would not the 1st Amendment apply since this after all a religious institution? God forbid the day comes where the Church is forced to open up not only public teaching and admin jobs for laypeople, but the priesthood to anybody who dare apply.

  18. catholicmidwest says:

    Even better: It doesn’t make any sense to have a Catholic anything that doesn’t serve the MISSION of the Church which is:
    18 And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 and teaching them to obey everything that I have commanded you. And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”

    If you can’t do that, then forget it. You’ll just be providing a cheap prep school for the general population. If you want to have a CATHOLIC school, then personnel in the school should be chosen and HIRED on the basis of whether they have a living personal discipleship relationship with Jesus Christ. Not whether they can sign a paper to keep their employment and then do whatever when you’re not looking. This is the issue.

    How will these people get a discipleship relationship? Parishes have got to move from being the impersonal Grand Central Stations of the religious world, and start teaching people to get a relationship with God and become disciples, so you have a pool of people you can count on to take Christ’s wishes to heart when you want something done, like teaching little kids.

  19. catholicmidwest says:

    Matt R,
    Hosanna-Tabor Evangelical Lutheran Church & School v. EEOC
    Supreme court case settled last year.
    Google is your friend.

  20. Mandy P. says:

    “Would not the 1st Amendment apply since this after all a religious institution? God forbid the day comes where the Church is forced to open up not only public teaching and admin jobs for laypeople, but the priesthood to anybody who dare apply.”

    Yes. The First Amendment most definitely apply here. In fact, I believe the Hosanna Tabor case recently decided by the SCOTUS applies as well. The government has no business telling a Church or Church-based institution- and a Catholic school falls under that definition- who it can and cannot hire and fire. For whatever reason.

  21. LarryW2LJ says:

    Southern Catholic,

    I read the same article on Yahoo. My first reaction? “You gotta be kidding!”

    Sadly, they’re not.

  22. AA Cunningham says:

    Nancy D. says:
    4 April 2013 at 10:24 am

    “Why would someone who does not support the Faith and Mission of a Catholic School desire to teach at a Catholic School, unless their desire was to undermine Catholic teaching or transform it?”

    Quite simply many are recruiting for potential conquests and parochial schools can be target rich environments.

  23. catholicmidwest says:

    a cardnal,

    That’s an assumption that you’re making. In point of fact, people are generally not told this when they are hired. Many non-Catholics are hired and most of them are hired under the assumption that all the usual employment laws that apply in public schools apply to them also. This is a fact. I used to work for the Catholic school and some of my colleagues were non-Catholics.
    Catholic schools routinely hire from certain populations of teachers, most of them accredited but not all:

    type a) people who are individualistic and highly literate and do not like working for the public schools for a number of reasons; these are the classic private school teachers who like small classes and expect a lot from students, including better behavior. They often need to teach for a living and do not survive in the public schools. They are willing to work hard for the low pay because they want to teach. They may or may not be Catholic; they may or may not actually practice their faith if they are Catholic. Almost all Catholic schools have small group of these and they are often close friends with each other and very supportive of each other, and that’s generally a good thing because this is where the stability of the staff comes from.

    type b) people who are fully accredited but between better-paying teaching jobs. These make up a large portion of the staffs at any given time and are responsible for the high turnover of Catholic schools. For them the Catholic schools are a make-do until something better comes along. They often keep their private lives private, and go along to get along.

    type c) people who are semi-retired or otherwise financed and have always wanted to teach in a Catholic school. These people rarely last more than a year. Some of them leave in a state of shock.

    type d) people who are running from their pasts or from the more stringent requirements of the public schools. These are the real transients of the Catholic school world. They may even move from state to state during their careers. They shouldn’t be hired, and I’ll leave it at that.

    type e) people who are not fully accredited but who will work for cheap as students working on their degrees. This category also includes non-accredited people who are hired surrepticiously as favors to their relatives. Yes, this is permitted (and overlooked) in some states because Catholic schools operate under different regulations from the ones that govern public schools in many states. Education in this country is not a federal responsibility; almost everything comes from the States.

  24. catholicmidwest says:

    According to the National Catholic Education Association, this is the makeup of full-time teachers in the Catholic schools for the 2012-2013 school year:
    96.8% laity (laywomen – 74.5%, laymen – 22.3%)
    3.2% religious/clergy (sisters – 2.2%, brothers – 0.5%, clergy – 0.5%)

  25. jasoncpetty says:

    The Diocese of Lafayette declined to comment on the clause, when it went into affect and why it was put in place.

    I can answer that: this clause was affective immediately because it states the truth, and we know from St. Paul, as reiterated by BXVI, that there is true affection, i.e., caritas, when it is accompanied by veritate.

  26. JKnott says:

    What ever happened to those lovely short acts of Faith, Hope and Charity that the Church recommended years ago?
    Act of Faith
    O my God, I believe in one God in three divine Persons, I believe in Jesus Christ, the true and only Son of God,
    Who was born of the Virgin Mary and died on the Cross for our salvation.
    I also believe all the sacred truths the holy Catholic Church believes and teaches
    because Thou hast revealed them, Who can neither deceive or be deceived. AMEN

    Why shouldn’t a teacher in a Catholic school say AMEN to that?

  27. catholicmidwest says:

    There are a lot of Catholics who don’t seem to comprehend what people actually do versus what they say in the Church. I had a conversation like this last night too.

    Look, there are people, who when driving around in the middle of the night in the boondocks, come to a stop sign, knowing that there’s not a single soul awake within 5 miles. And they’ll still stop and sit there for 30 seconds, regardless, just because it’s a rule and they’re supposed to do it. And there are people who think everyone should do this, and that if they say they will, they actually will!

    This school pledge thing is sort of like that. Getting people to sign a pledge so they can keep their jobs guarantees PRECISELY NOTHING. It may make you feel better, however. And it may make it marginally easier to win a peeing contest at the state employment office later, but don’t count on it, the way they’re going.

    How much better would it be for people to be chosen for the job based on real criteria that relates to the mission of the Church? So much better. However, that has HUGE practical consequences, the size of which is completely out of the purview of most Catholics right now, the way things are. Perhaps in 25 or 30 years when the face of Catholicism in the US is dramatically changed, this will be closer to happening. We’ll see. At any rate, we’re in the midst of a dramatic demographic shift, so if you don’t like the way things are right now, wait 10 years and it will be different. Very different.

  28. catholicmidwest says:

    Incidentally, a key piece of the Hosanna-Tabor case was that the school, a Lutheran school, had an interesting policy which I guess is pretty common in the Lutheran schools. They hire everyone as a contractor. And then all the teacher-contractors must go through a sort of ministry training that certifies them locally to teach at that school. The training is administered through the local Lutheran church and is explicitly religious, requiring active assent and practice from those who wish to graduate from it. Only when a person graduates from that ministry training, can they become full-time teaching employees of the school. And the ministry training can be revoked if certain kinds of un-Christian behavior appear.
    The supreme court decision used certain properties of this arrangement to find that a Church could train anyone they chose and confer ministry on anyone they chose, since it’s a religious ministry. This extended to the requirement that the employees of the school be ministers even if they only teach English or Science because it’s explicitly a Lutheran school.

    Perhaps this paper-signing business is an attempt to obtain the same kind of assurance for Catholic schools, but if it is, it’s a very limp-wristed attempt, and I’m not so sure it would stand up in court the same way the very deliberate and well-carried-out Lutheran system worked. If this comes to a head, we’ll probably find out, no?

  29. MichaelJ says:

    mamajen, I do not understand your comment about Catholic or non-Catholic parents who send their children to Catholic schools for other than specifically Catholic reasons. Are you really suggesting that a Catholic school should not concern itself with Catholic principles because… many of the parents do not care?
    As far as wanting to see the actual clause or wanting to know the details about the teacher’s lifestyle goes, I do not see how that is pertinent. A morality clause by definition applies to behavior . “Moral”, after all means “of or relating to principles of right and wrong in behavior ” What the teacher’s inclinations may or may not be is completely irrelevant. A morality clause, no matter how poorly or well written, can only apply to actions – how the teacher acts in response to specific temptations.

  30. mamajen says:

    @MichaelJ

    I was responding to people who can’t understand why a non-Catholic would want to teach at a Catholic school, other than with the intent to undermine it. There are many possible reasons, and catholicmidwest did a good job going into detail about them. No, I do not think that Catholic schools should cater to students or teachers who don’t agree with Church teaching.

    As far as the clause, well, I’ve encountered plenty of Catholics who don’t distinguish between actions and inclinations, so I assume nothing. People can use words without knowing what they mean.

  31. Bob B. says:

    The morality clause is/will be a way to show “Catholic Identity” to parents and the WCEA, who obviously haven’t been doing their jobs.

  32. mamajen says:

    @catholicmidwest

    You’ve made so many good points. How easy would it be for someone to just sign that paper and continue using birth control?

    If this article is to be believed, it seems that the teacher did the right thing. She didn’t want to be dishonest and left the job rather than signing something she disagreed with. She also made a point of saying that the school was good to her and that she was not fired. Kudos to her. It seems the parents are the ones who are freaking out.

  33. DavidR says:

    I find it fascinating that the discussion has centered around homosexuals and ‘morality’. Did it never occur to the writer of the ‘news’ item (or for that matter, most of the posters here) that monogamous normal people also struggle with ‘morality’? Are we tempted to adultery? Or to take what does not belong to us? To fudge on taxes, or bear false witness to get that promotion at work? To idolize someone other than GOD?

    For GOD’s sake, don’t allow the homosexuals to define the playing field. Catholic morality is more than who does what to whose biological equipment.

  34. catholicmidwest says:

    Mamajen,

    Easy. People do things like that all the time and nobody is the wiser. The only time people get caught is when they are forced to go through tight passageways like RCIA which involves answering explicit questions about having been married before, etc, etc. And people are usually naive enough to answer candidly then because they’re new to the Church, when they are asked specific questions, but not always.

    I’ll bet that this girl was hired by the school just to teach art and her assumptions were pretty typical of people hired in Catholic schools. I’ll bet she wasn’t told anything about this, other than some numbly worded catch all buried in the paperwork, which is completely typical. It’s not a requirement to be Catholic to teach at Catholic schools in the US. See my description above of who gets hired. It’s a wide variety of people, and turnover is very high at most Catholic schools.

  35. Joseph-Mary says:

    So why do these practicing homosexuals run immediately to the press to announce to the world that they are not living by the Catholic teachings (Gospel)????

  36. catholicmidwest says:

    I’m not saying this is right; rather, I’m saying it happens all the time.
    And people don’t want to admit it.

  37. JohnE says:

    “What is a little bit more surprising is the specificity of this one, that it goes into specific definitions of what it means about morality,” Corbett said.

    This contrasts with the proposed policy change in the Boy Scouts of America to allow openly homosexual members. The BSA emphasizes exercising your duty to God and being morally straight, but as far as I’m able to determine, those terms mean pretty much whatever a member wants them to mean. Unless moral behavior is explicitly defined it’s just going to be determined by consensus or power.

  38. In the UK no Catholic school can have complete control over the terms and conditions under which it recruits and employs teachers, partly because of UK and EU laws; and partly because all Catholic schools receive money from the Government one way or another, so naturally there are strings attached. It is a joy to read that in the US Catholic schools can still put their foot down and introduce measures like the “morality code”.

  39. catholicmidwest says:

    Well, JohnE, if you somehow could manage against huge odds, to set this facet of the Catholic schools up to work internally like the Department of Motor Vehicles, then yes, what you’d get internally would be very much like the Department of Motor Vehicles. I have no idea why this surprises anyone.

    External to the Catholic schools, of course, all odds would still be off. More than about 70% of the country is, after all, never-Catholic.

  40. mamajen says:

    @SKAY

    Thank you for that! Looks like the school is being completely reasonable in their requirements and someone has indeed twisted it into the more general “being gay”.

  41. acardnal says:

    Contractual moral clauses don’t necessarily change behavior or ensure agreed upon behavior. But they do provide a legal reason for firing someone “for cause” and provide an opportunity to initiate litigation, if desired, because the employee violated their contract.

  42. catholicmidwest says:

    That’s true. In a ligitious society, if you have to take legal action, something written is important so you can press your case.

    And preparatory to that, you can always try to scare people into looking like they behave if you make it clear enough to them that there is a point being made and that there are things at stake. When money is involved, it can be pretty effective sometimes.

  43. Augustin57 says:

    As a former member of the Diocese of Lafayette, LA (born and baptized there), I’m very happy to see them coming ’round as a faithful diocese! I recall back in the 80’s when I still lived there, one of the first abuse cases that came up. Mother Theresa came to the Cajun Dome during that time (coincidence? I think not!) and met with the then Bishop in his residence. There were several other people there, whom I knew and who reported that Mother Theresa told the bishop, “I will talk to you in private here.” and pointed to a side room. They were in there about 15-20 minutes. When they came out, the bishop was hanging his head and Mother Theresa told one of the priests, “I will be staying at your place.” And they left. The bishop never even showed up at the Cajun Dome, and retired shortly thereafter. I was reminded of St. Catherine of Sienna and the Pope Gregory XI… :)

  44. catholicmidwest says:

    The corollary being, of course, that if you come at the people you’re trying to scare with a big book and a lawyer, they’re likely to go get a big book and a lawyer of their own. I’m not sure how productive that is in the long run. I’m also not sure that it’s what kids ought to be learning in Catholic school.

  45. SKAY says:

    Article about the resignation of Fatima council president.

    http://kpel965.com/jaci-russo-fatima-school-council-president-resigns-amid-morality-clause-controversy/

    I think you are right Augustine57. Mother Theresa’s visit was no coincidence.