Jun 3, 2014

Posted in Uncategorized

Cincy Archdiocese – All Teachers Are Ministers! Hosannah-Tabor For All!

In what seems to be a blatant effort to extend the ministerial exception under Hosannah-Tabor to all of its teachers, the Cincinnati archdiocese is requiring that all teachers sign employment contracts giving them the title of “minister,” regardless of what subject they teach. Oh, and they also bar “cohabitation or sex outside of marriage, using in-vitro fertilization, living a gay “lifestyle,” or publicly supporting any of these.” These “ministers” would effectively be outside the scope of the law. 

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  • leifolson

    That’s more than a bit hyperbolic, Josh. A firing for any of those bases wouldn’t create a Title VII or ADA claim. Barring unusual statutory or common-law exceptions, I doubt that a firing on any of those bases would be actionable in an at-will employment state, such as Ohio, either. And designation as a “minister,” even after Hosanna-Tabor, doesn’t exempt someone from other employment-based claims like assault by offensive contact, premises liability, or negligent hiring.

  • CLS

    I agree with Leif. Also, it seems pretty fundamental to mean that a Catholic school should be able to fire a math teacher who open and notoriously supports a position at odds with Catholic teaching. The whole point of religious schools is to create an environment different from what you would have in a public or secular school. So, if a teacher decides they aren’t aboard with the religious mission and it becomes known to the school, it seem to me to goo directly to the religious entity’s associative, free speech, and free exercise interests to be able to fire them. That you can spout off a list of things that are now deemed to be generally acceptable but are at odds with Catholic teaching demonstrates strongly–to me–the importance of the First Amendment issues at stake here. If a Catholic school can’t be Catholic, what’s the point of a Catholic school? (Also, the teacher in HT did not teach religion)