Editor’s Note: The article below is included in the forthcoming winter 2021 edition of the Newman Society’s Our Catholic Mission magazine.
Last summer, the U.S. Supreme Court confirmed that the “ministerial exception” applies to certain Catholic school teachers, a ruling hailed as protecting Catholic schools and colleges that uphold moral standards for employees.
While the ruling addresses serious questions of religious freedom, it also raises issues that many dioceses, schools and colleges have been wrestling with for several years: What moral standards should be expected of employees in Catholic education? The Church has repeatedly called on teachers to witness to the faith in both word and deed. But what about non-teaching employees?