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Workers Must Vow Not to Break Church ‘Principles or Tenets’

WASHINGTON (RNS) Catholic Charities of Washington has added language to a hiring letter for new employees explicitly requiring that they “not violate the principles or tenets of the Catholic faith.”
Employees of the Archdiocese of Washington’s social service arm “are expected to act in ways that promote the best interest of our faith and church,” reads a March 3 letter from Catholic Charities’ Human Resources Manager Terrance Pollard. New employees will be asked to sign the letter.
The policy comes a week after the District of Columbia legalized same-sex marriage, prompting Catholic Charities to drop spousal benefits for new employees rather than cover same-sex spouses.
Susan Gibbs, a spokeswoman for the archdiocese, said the two policies are unrelated, and the letter simply adds language that is already covered during new employee orientation.
The addition was prompted by a 2008 case in Virginia, Gibbs said, in which a Catholic Charities branch helped a 16-year-old abandoned immigrant obtain an abortion, which is prohibited by the church.
“That was a wake-up call,” Gibbs said.
Employees will not be evaluated differently under the policy, which concerns what they do on the job — not their private lives — Gibbs said, adding that Catholic Charities employees non-Catholics. The Obama administration is currently studying whether it is legal for religious charities to discriminate in hiring based on religion when using federal funds.
Asked what would happen if an employee takes a public stand against church teaching, Gibbs said such matters will be handled on a “case-by-case basis.”
— Daniel Burke
Copyright 2010 Religion News Service. All rights reserved. No part of this transmission may be distributed or reproduced without written permission.

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  • cknuck

    Too little too late once you eat the forbidden fruit you will spend a lifetime in regret. Never take fed monies its tainted.

  • nnmns

    You say you were in the armed forces. Are you giving back your pay? Do you refuse income tax refunds? Can we count on you to not take Medicare?

  • cknuck

    nnmns you’re insane one has nothing to do with the other I am not an entity I am a citizen why on earth would I give back pay for serving my country, or refuse taxes that I pay into or not take my medicare (which I hope I will never need) I don’t get how you think, I am a citizen who has defended this country I’ve worked hard all of my life, paid my taxes. My work has nothing to do with my rights as an America citizen and I will not have you question them.

  • nnmns

    “Never take fed monies” apparently doesn’t mean “never”.

  • nnmns

    But I do agree with you: churches should not take government money.

  • Gwyddion9

    Well, since they’re taking fed monies, I hope they’re challenged and loose. I don’t think it’s right to say we’ll take public/government monies and then say, Oh, you have to follow our religious beliefs.
    Too late.

  • jestrfyl

    The article includes this sentence:
    “‘That was a wake-up call,’ Gibbs said.”
    This reminds of those times when a person is woken up from a nap and were told it was time to go to bed.
    First, I agree that religious groups ought not be using government funding, even with the best intentions. Second, if they do, they ought to be expected to comply with the standards of the people whose funding they accept. So if the gov. provides funds for non-religious programs managed by the church related organization, it seems appropriate that the organization should comply with the wider community standards. It is true for child care and preschools, so why not this?
    It is simply one more way to play by their own rules and no others. It is because of this that people have created bogus religions as away to escape some regulations. This demeans authentic religions and discounts everyone in the religious arena. But we do bring it on ourselves, by thinking we are better, more righteous, or simply exempt. Arrogance serves no one well.

  • cknuck

    jest I agree with you to a point, the church has always assisted this country as a matter of fact without the church’s help we may have lost the war for our independence; what price do you put on that?
    The country considering its history so intertwined with the church ought to be grateful and return the favor if the church needed without strings attached. I realize that may be way too big for the nation as it is currently in it’s hostility toward religion in general, Christ specifically.

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