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Employee contracts and the HHS mandate

March 27, 2015
Thomas P. Greerty

With regard to the controversial moral language that has been added to the San Francisco archdiocesan school teachers contracts it should be kept in mind that most American Catholic bishops are implementing similar morality clauses in their diocesan employee contracts. They are doing so because the Catholic Church is involved in lawsuits all over the country against the federal government. This is due to the fact that the Obama administration’s HHS mandate requires that abortion, contraception, and sterilization services be provided by the church to their employees through health care plans.

One of the Obama administrations strongest arguments is that the Catholic Church is not the same morally in all its manifestations and therefore some of her institutions, such as schools should not be entitled to the same First Amendment protections that other church entities are enjoy.

In response to this argument, American bishops are busy modifying existing employee contracts so they are in compliance with Catholic moral and social teaching across the board. This is a good thing! So, I wish Archbishop Cordileone and the archdiocese’s Catholic school teachers all the best in their combined efforts to work out the necessary and important moral language so teachers’ rights are protected while the church’s moral teaching is upheld. 

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