(Note: This expands upon a response I originally left at Bilgrimage.)
There’s been a lot of discussion on the Catholic blogosphere on the subject of morality clauses being used against lay employees at Catholic institutions, especially if said employees are heterosexual females or some combination of LGBT. While all employees at Catholic institutions are theoretically held to the same standard of conduct, the only types of sins that these clauses seem concerned about are those of a sexual nature; to my knowledge, no one at a Catholic school or university has been sacked for gluttony or inhospitality, for example. Female employees are disproportionately targeted by these measures, since they literally carrying around the evidence of their perceived “sin” if they get pregnant out of wedlock or through IVF. LGBT employees of either sex are also vulnerable, should they chose to be open about their sexual or gender identity. In many cases, however, the school community has been sympathetic to the “sinners” point of view, leading to showdowns between the hierarchy in charge of enforcing adherence to faith and morals and the community that the school is supposed to serve.
The root of the problem is that there is confusion about what the purpose of Catholic education should be. If we go back in time to the pre-Vatican II 20th century church, we see that the point of Catholic education was to provide a low-cost alternative to public schools so Catholic children wouldn’t be indoctrinated by the Protestant majority. This was possible because the schools were run by teaching sisters who were essentially working for free, which kept operating costs down. Consequently, the quality of Catholic education was no better and maybe a bit worse than the public schools, aside from the more expensive prep schools for the upper classes. Since each parish had a school, which served a particular neighborhood, the academic environment was almost completely monocultural, especially in Northern cities with strong ethnic neighborhoods. In such a closed environment, there was no question that everyone was in lockstep agreement on matters of faith and morals.