Cincinnati’s Catholic teachers are ‘ministers’

“Thou shalt not” do — or publicly support — premarital sex, extramarital sex, unmarried cohabitation, in-vitro fertilization, a gay “lifestyle” or a host of other issues, if you want to teach in Cincinnati Catholic schools. All teachers must sign a new “morality” contract that focuses on “pelvic issues,” reports CNN.  All teachers are now “ministers” to make it easier to fire them.

It stems from a 2012 U.S. Supreme Court decision in the case of Hosanna-Tabor Evangelical Lutheran Church and School v. EEOC, in which the justices cite a “ministerial exemption” that gives religious institutions greater latitude when hiring and firing employees.

Molly Shumate, a first-grade teacher, plans to quit her job rather than pledge not to publicly support her gay son, she told CNN. “If in five or 10 years he finds a partner and he wants to be with that person, I’m going to be in the front row with the biggest bouquet.”

The Cincinnati Archdiocese has lost several lawsuits for firing teachers who didn’t abide by Catholic doctrine.

Computer teacher Christa Dias, who was single, used in-vitro fertilization to become pregnant and was then fired. She sued the archdiocese for discrimination and a jury awarded her more than $170,000.

. . . Also last year, a dean of students at a Cincinnati Catholic high school was let go after supporting same-sex marriage on his private blog.

And a female gym teacher at a high school in the Columbus, Ohio, diocese was fired after publishing the name of her partner in an obituary column announcing her mother’s death. She sued and the diocese settled.

I think the archdiocese will find it significantly harder to hire teachers.

About Joanne


  1. It wasn’t all that long ago that public school teachers were expected to live up to an even more strigent code of behavior.

  2. Ted Craig says:

    If they don’t have these rules, then what’s the point of Catholic schools? They might as well be charters.

  3. Deirdre Mundy says:

    I doubt this will make it harder to hire teachers. Most dioceses have had ‘morality contracts’ for all employees for years. And the pay rate for Catholic schools already runs lower than the public schools– most teachers teaching in a Catholic school already have a sense of mission. The morality contracts will probably just help attract more students/

  4. Ruth Joy says:

    It’s evident that the positive phrase” uphold Catholic teaching” was not clear enough for some teachers.

  5. Good for them! This is just common sense. Why would you WANT to teach in a Catholic school if you didn’t believe in these things already? All it does is weed out the self-righteous “activists” trying to make changes they shouldn’t. They can go form their own club.

  6. Richard Aubrey says:

    My daughter, after having been assaulted twice, left public high schools for a parochial school. She sells jewelry on the side to make up for the two-thirds pay cut. So it would seem to me that the attraction of Catholic schooling might not necessarily be entirely religious. And so there needs to be an additional requirement.