Archbishop Stands Firm Against Faculty Wanting Change

Archbishop Cordileone (Patrick Semansky / Associated Press)
Patrick Semansky / Associated Press

San Francisco Archbishop Salvatore J. Cordileone, a staunch traditional Catholic, is under attack from faculty and staff at the four San Francisco archdiocese high schools, as eighty percent of faculty and staff have signed a petition rejecting the additions Cordileone has made to the school’s handbooks for the 2015-2016 school year.

The petition argued, “We believe our schools should be places of inquiry and the free exchange of ideas where all feel welcome and affirmed,” and called Cordileone’s additions “harmful to our community and creates an atmosphere of mistrust and fear” while requesting the current handbook remain for next year, according to the Los Angeles Times.

The faculty and staff are following in the footsteps of the San Francisco Board of Supervisors, which unanimously approved a resolution that condemned the Archbishop’s efforts as “contrary to shared San Francisco values of non-discrimination, women’s rights, inclusion, and equality for all humans,” the Times reports. The board added that it wanted the archbishop to “fully respect the rights of its teachers and administrators, and pursue contract terms with…educators that respects their individual rights, but also recognizes the informed conscience of each individual educator to make their own moral decisions and choices outside the workplace.”

Cordileone asked that teachers, staff and administrators remain in line with traditional Catholic teaching and “affirm and believe” that homosexual acts, masturbation and pornography are “gravely evil.” Ignoring political correctness, he also included same-sex marriage, artificial reproduction and contraception as behaviors that should be eschewed. As Bob Laird, vice president for program development at the Cardinal Newman Society, wrote when he defended Cordileone in the San Francisco Chronicle, “Christ did not alter his teachings in order to please his listeners….Agree with the Church or not, but the archbishop’s job is to lead Catholics and to protect Catholic students from wayward interpretations of our Catholic faith that have crept into society.”

Cordileone is not reticent about defending himself either; when criticized by Nancy Pelosi for participating in last year’s “March for Marriage,? he wrote:

It gives me assurance that we share a common disdain for harsh and hateful rhetoric. It must be pointed out, though, that there is plenty of offensive rhetoric which flows in the opposite direction. In fact, for those who support the conjugal understanding of marriage, the attacks have not stopped at rhetoric. Simply for taking a stand for marriage as it has been understood in every human society for millennia, people have lost their jobs, lost their livelihoods, and have suffered other types of retribution, including physical violence.

He also issued a blistering response to eight Democratic state lawmakers targeting him, writing:

Would you hire a campaign manager who advocates policies contrary to those that you stand for, and who shows disrespect toward you and the Democratic Party in general? On the other hand, if you knew a brilliant campaign manager who, although a Republican, was willing to work for you and not speak or act in public contrary to you or your party — would you hire such a person? If your answer to the first question is ‘no,’ and to the second question is ‘yes,’ then we are actually in agreement on the principle point in debate here.

Cordileone, an expert in canon law, wants teachers considered as ministers in the collective bargaining agreement that is being debated, which under federal law could exempt them from discrimination charges.


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