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Catholic school fires gay teacher in order to keep its ‘Catholic identity’

Catholic school fires gay teacher in order to keep its ‘Catholic identity’

Archdiocese of Indianapolis' Catholic archbishop Charles Thompson

A Catholic school fired a gay teacher in a same-sex marriage in order to retain its ‘Catholic identity’.

Cathedral High School in Indianapolis published an open letter yesterday (23 June) to address the ‘agonizing decision’ to fire the unidentified teacher.

The school revealed it had no option but to fire the teacher, after mounting pressure from Archbishop Charles Thompson threatened to take away the school’s privileges if it didn’t comply.

The school would lose the ability to celebrate Catholic sacraments, be no longer referred to as a Catholic school, diocesan priests would no longer be permitted to serve on the Board of Directors, lose its affiliation with The Brothers of Holy Cross and lose its status to operate as a nonprofit school.

Holy Bible
Holy Bible. | Photo: Pixabay

‘In order to remain a Catholic Holy Cross School,’ the open letter states. ‘Cathedral [High School] must follow the direct guidance given to us by Archbishop Thompson and separate from the teacher.’

The letter then added: ‘Please know that we offer our prayers and love to this teacher, our students and faculty, our Archbishop, and all associated with Cathedral as we continue to educate our students in the Catholic Holy Cross tradition.

‘We ask that dialogue about this difficult situation be respectful of the dignity of every person and that you continue to pray for our Cathedral family and the wider Indianapolis community,’ it read.

The school has around 1,100 students in grades nine through 12 and has been a faith school for 100 years.

Catholic church cuts ties with school

Last week, Archbishop Charles Thompson issued a statement cutting ties with a local Jesuit High School. The decree followed the school’s refusal to fire a teacher in a same-sex marriage.

Thompson first asked Brebeuf Jesuit preparatory school in 2017 to terminate the employment of the teacher. This was after news of their marriage spread on social media.

The school refused to comply with the request.

statement issued on Thursday (20 June) by the Archdiocese of Indianapolis said it was distancing itself from the school.

‘Whether they teach religion or not,’ the statement read. ‘All ministers in their professional and private lives must convey and be supportive of Catholic Church teaching.’

It then added: ‘The Archdiocese of Indianapolis recognizes all teachers, guidance counselors and administrators as ministers.’

Brebeuf Jesuit school responds

In response to the Archbishop’s statement, Brebeuf Jesuit school issued its own statement.

‘The decree follows a sincere and significant disagreement,’ the school stated.

‘Brebeuf Jesuit has respectfully declined the Archdiocese’s insistence and directive that we dismiss a highly capable and qualified teacher due to the teacher being a spouse within a civilly-recognized same-sex marriage.

‘After long and prayerful consideration, we determined that following the Archdiocese’s directive would not only violate our informed conscience on this particular matter, but also set a concerning precedent for future interference in the school’s operations.

‘We also recognize the harm that adhering to this mandate would cause our highly capable and qualified teachers and staff.’

Brebeuf Jesuit has 793 students in grades nine through to 12, with a faculty and staff of 132.

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