Catholic archdiocese of Cincinnati to tweak teacher contract morality clauses

Catholic archdiocese of Cincinnati to tweak teacher contract morality clauses

CINCINNATI — The Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Cincinnati plans to update language in its teachers’ contract following a committee’s suggestions on its morality clauses.

Catholic-archdiocese-of-CincinnatiAn archdiocese spokesman tells the Cincinnati Enquirer that the tweaked language in the contract will clarify what is expected of employees.

The clarifications come after last year’s contract sparked protests for its language prohibiting “homosexual lifestyles,” abortion, artificial insemination and public support for any of those causes.

The new contract for teachers in the 19-county Archdiocese of Cincinnati school system uses the term “advocacy” instead of public support, said Dan Andriacco, Archdiocese spokesman.

“We thought that was a little bit clearer,” Andriacco said, adding that after the last contract, there were many questions about what constituted “public support.”

“If I go to my gay child’s wedding, is that ‘public support?’ Well, the answer is no,” he said.

Advocacy could mean, for example, writing a blog in support of gay marriage, he said.

It would not mean, however, writing a personal letter to a senator on the topic.

The updates come at the suggestion of a newly formed teacher advisory committee, however some opponents of the contract’s morality clause say the changes don’t make much difference.

The contract for the 2014-15 school year was drafted after the archdiocese in 2010 fired an unmarried teacher who became pregnant by artificial insemination. A federal court in 2013 ruled in that teacher’s favor, ordering the archdiocese to pay her $171,000.

The contract still prohibits teachers from engaging in “any conduct or lifestyle” that would contradict Catholic teachings or morals.

Associated Press contributed to this report.

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