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to Section One | to Arts & Entertainment
posted Friday, February 6, 2015 - Volume 43 Issue 06
Stop jerking off! SF Archbishop tells high school staffers
Section One
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Stop jerking off! SF Archbishop tells high school staffers

by Mike Andrew - SGN Staff Writer

The Roman Catholic Archbishop of San Francisco, Salvatore Cordileone, has ordered parochial high school staff not to masturbate.

According to SF Gate newspaper, the Archbishop has circulated a document stating that masturbation is 'gravely evil' and Catholic school employees must not do it. A statement saying that the Church's employees 'affirm and believe' this analysis will be included in the employee handbook.

Cordileone's statement applies to lay employees as well as priests and nuns in four Catholic high schools: Riordan and Sacred Heart in San Francisco, Marin Catholic in Kentfield, and Sierra High School in San Mateo.

Saint Ignatius High School in San Francisco is run by the Jesuits and therefore not under the Archbishop's jurisdiction. Employees there are presumably free to continue masturbating.

Other issues covered by the document include:

o Marriage is defined to include 'one man and one woman,' despite California law recognizing same-sex marriages.

o Sperm donation, the use of a surrogate, and other forms of 'artificial reproductive technology' are also 'gravely evil.'

Bay Area high school students have launched a petition protesting Cordileone's edict.

'We call on the Archbishop to cease his efforts to institute outdated and discriminatory 'morality clauses,' to retain workplace protections and to allow Catholic school teachers to focus on the work they are doing to educate thousands of Bay Area children,' the petition says.

'The proposed changes directly contradict the Pope's teachings, the Catholic values of inclusion and diversity, and the free and open exchange of ideas, which is the hallmark of a good education. They create a culture of fear that denies staff the right to follow their own individual consciences and harms students. As people of faith who value education, equality and freedom of conscience, we ask the Archbishop to remove this language immediately.'

Unfortunately for Catholic school employees, unless they are protected by a union contract, the Archbishop may be legally entitled to discipline them even for masturbating at home.

Absent a union contract or a specific California state law protecting masturbation, 'employment at will' means that the employer - in this case the Archdiocese - can legally terminate an employee for any reason, even for one as individual and private as masturbating.

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