Bishop exempts Ukiah teachers from morality vow

Bishop Robert Vasa has exempted nearly a dozen teachers at Saint Mary of the Angels Catholic School in Ukiah from signing a controversial morality clause that he is requiring of about 200 educators employed by the Santa Rosa Catholic Diocese.

As news of a reprieve for 11 full-time St. Mary's faculty members reached Sonoma County, parents of students at Cardinal Newman High School in Santa Rosa said they planned to request a similar exemption for teachers at that school.

Vasa, reached by phone Thursday afternoon, refused to comment about the "temporary pastoral accommodation" at St. Mary's.

"It's a private matter between me and the pastor and I won't discuss it," he said.

In a letter signed by the school principal, Mary Leittem-Thomas, and Rev. Alvin Villaruel, the local pastor, parents were informed that Vasa had made an exception for St. Mary's teachers and they would not have to sign the clause, which is an addendum to the teachers' contract for the 2013-2014 school year.

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