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San Francisco Catholic Students Slam Morality Clauses In Latest Protest, Say Archbishop Is Out Of Step

SAN FRANCISCO (KPIX 5) – Wearing black t-shirts with the hashtag #teachacceptance, students in high schools administrated by the Archdiocese of San Francisco once again voiced their displeasure Thursday night with Archbishop Salvatore Cordelione and his proposed morality clause for teachers.

"It's just ridiculous how he's trying to represent the Catholic Church in a city of tolerance and a city of acceptance," Archbishop Riordan alumnus Erick Orantes told KPIX 5.

The fight over student and teacher handbooks has been going on since February, when students on Ash Wednesday first spoke out about the proposed policies, with ashes smudged on their foreheads.

Cordileone's proposal would subject teachers to "not visibly contradict, undermine or deny" church teachings.

"I think a lot of my favorite teachers will lose their jobs, or just leave because this is against their beliefs," said Gina Wielsch, a student at Marin Catholic.

Among the chief complaints, is that the archbishop is out of step not only with San Francisco, but also the Vatican.

"The bishop is going backwards when the Pope is going forwards with these types of issues. In recent years, the Pope has been an enormous progressive leader of the church when it came to very delicate issues that weren't even talked about. And now, when there is promise, this archbishop is just setting us back," Orantes said.

For his part, Archbishop Cordieleone is rethinking the morality clauses, and working to draft a new handbook. But, many are leery of his commitment to change.

"I don't think we'll rest until we see the entire handbook and its language that is very hurtful, retracted. All of it," Wielsch said.

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