Watch CBS News

Dispute among San Francisco Catholics gets hotter

SAN FRANCISCO -- More than 100 local leaders are calling on Pope Francis to replace San Francisco Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone in an open letter in Thursday's San Francisco Chronicle, notes CBS San Francisco.

The newspaper calls it "an unprecedented move."

"The plea follows months of dissent within the archdiocese over Cordileone's emphasis on traditional, conservative church doctrine," the Chronicle reports.

Among the contentious issues -- so-called "morality clauses" Cordileone has included in contracts for teachers and staff at four Catholic high schools.

"Holy Father, please provide us with a leader true to our values and your namesake," the letter reads in part.

San Francisco Chronicle

Signers include alumni of San Francisco Catholic schools, church volunteers and former board members of Catholic Charities. One signer is Tom Brady Sr., father of New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady, the Chronicle says.

The group claims the clauses have caused division in the community.

The clauses call for teachers to abide by the church's stance against things like sex outside of marriage and homosexuality.

Attorney Frank Pitre who, along with his wife, Diane, signed the letter, told the Chronicle, "It seems he is going in a direction that is completely opposite where Pope Francis is going and creating an atmosphere of complete intolerance. Hopefully, this is going to get someone's attention."

Archdiocesan officials have already responded to the ad.

"The advertisement is a misrepresentation of Catholic teaching, a misrepresentation of the nature of the teacher contract, and a misrepresentation of the spirit of the Archbishop," the Archdiocese said in a statement. "The greatest misrepresentation of all is that the signers presume to speak for 'the Catholic Community of San Francisco.' They do not."

The Chronicle advises its readers not to "expect Cordileone to start soft-pedaling his opposition to same-sex marriage. He's encouraging the faithful to join him at a big march in the nation's capital in favor of 'traditional' marriage on April 25, three days before the U.S. Supreme Court hears arguments in a case that could result in the justices declaring a constitutional right for gays and lesbians to wed."

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.