Catholic high school fires gay teacher to keep ties with archdiocese
A Catholic high school in Indiana, United States has fired a gay teacher to keep its ties with the Archdiocese of Indianapolis.
Cathedral High School made the decision after 22 months of discussion with the archdiocese, as per a statement on the school’s website on June 23.
Archbishop Charles Thompson apparently told the school that the continued employment of a teacher who is in a public, same-sex marriage would forfeit the school’s Catholic identity.
“Archbishop Thompson made it clear that Cathedral’s continued employment of a teacher in a public, same-sex marriage would result in our forfeiting our Catholic identity due to our employment of an individual living in contradiction to Catholic teaching on marriage,” the school said.
The school added losing their Catholic identity would warrant many things, such as losing the ability to celebrate the Sacraments and no longer being able to refer to the Cathedral as a Catholic school. Their diocesan priests would also no longer be permitted to serve on the board of directors, and the school would lose its affiliation with The Brothers of Holy Cross and its 501(c)(3) nonprofit school status, among others.
“Therefore, in order to remain a Catholic Holy Cross School, Cathedral must follow the direct guidance given to us by Archbishop Thompson and separate from the teacher,” the school said.
Cathedral High School’s decision came just days after another school in Indiana, Brebeuf Jesuit Preparatory School, decided to decline the archdiocese’s directive to dismiss a highly capable and qualified teacher because they are a spouse in a civilly-recognized same-sex marriage.
According to Brebeuf on June 20, following the directive would violate their informed conscience and set a precedent for future interference in the school’s operations.
Cathedral High School respects Brebeuf’s position, but has clarified that Brebeuf’s canonical and nonprofit status is different from theirs.
“Because Brebeuf is a specific ministry of the Jesuits, their canonical and nonprofit status is different than ours,” said Cathedral High School. “Therefore, the two schools cannot function the same way if Cathedral were to receive a similar decree as Brebeuf.” JB
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