Archdiocese pulls ‘Catholic’ label from Jesuit school for refusing to fire teacher in same-sex marriage

Brebeuf Jesuit Preparatory School in Indianapolis, IN. (KimManleyOrt, Creative Commons)Brebeuf Jesuit Preparatory School in Indianapolis, IN. (KimManleyOrt, Creative Commons)

An Indianapolis Jesuit high school is standing by a teacher who the Archdiocese of Indianapolis said should not be rehired after the employee’s same-sex marriage became public. As a result, the archdiocese will prohibit Brebeuf Jesuit Preparatory School from calling itself “Catholic,” a decision the school plans to appeal.

According to a statement from Brian Paulson, S.J., provincial of the USA Midwest Province Jesuits, school leaders learned in the summer of 2017 that a teacher at Brebeuf Jesuit Preparatory School had entered a civil marriage with someone of the same gender. The marriage became known via social media, according to Father Paulson, who said the archdiocese then orally requested that the school not renew the teacher’s contract. The school decided not to honor that request, as the “teacher in question does not teach religion and is a longtime valued employee of the school.”

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Father Paulson said that the school disagreed with the archdiocese and that it decided not to honor the archdiocese’s request to protect school staff and because the school considered it interference in employment matters by the archdiocese.

“I recognize this request by Archbishop Charles Thompson to be his prudential judgment of the application of canon law recognizing his responsibility for oversight of faith and morals as well as Catholic education in his archdiocese,” he said. But, he continued, “I disagree with the necessity and prudence of this decision. This is a disagreement between two church leaders of goodwill with related, but distinct responsibilities.”

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Though exact figures are unavailable, many L.G.B.T. people have been fired from jobs as teachers, church musicians and pastoral associates in recent years after their marriages were made public. Instances of a Catholic entity publicly disagreeing with church leaders over the employment status of a gay employee is rare.

Father Paulson said that the school disagreed with the archdiocese and that it decided not to honor the archdiocese’s request to protect school staff and because the school considered it interference in employment matters by the archdiocese.

The Archdiocese of Indianapolis said in a statement that teachers are “ministers” regardless of the subjects they teach and said that to be effective, “all ministers in their professional and private lives must convey and be supportive of Catholic Church teaching.” According to the decree from Archbishop Thompson, the school “can no longer use the name Catholic and will no longer be identified or recognized as a Catholic institution by the Archdiocese of Indianapolis.” It says the decree is effective until the school “demonstrates their desire to operate in accord with the doctrine and pastoral practice of the Catholic Church.”

Despite the decree, which goes into effect June 21, the school’s leadership says it is still Catholic and that Jesuits will still be able to work at the school and celebrate sacraments there.

William Verbryke, S.J., president of the school, as well as the chair and chair-elect of its board of trustees, said in a letter that Brebeuf Jesuit Preparatory School is “disheartened that the Archbishop has chosen to end our formal relationship. Nevertheless, our identity as a Catholic Jesuit institution remains unchanged.”

Jesuits will still be able to work at the school and celebrate Mass there and its leaders are “prayerfully discerning how best to proceed with the process of appealing the Archdiocese’s directive.”

Father Verbryke’s letter goes on to say, “To our knowledge, the Archdiocese of Indianapolis’ direct insertion into an employment matter of a school governed by a religious order is unprecedented.” The letter calls the archdiocese’s move “a unique action among the more than 80 Jesuit secondary/pre-secondary schools which operate in dioceses throughout North America, along with the countless Catholic schools operated by other religious orders such as the Christian Brothers, Dominicans, and Xaverian Brothers.”

The decision not to follow the archdiocese’s decree was both to protect employees, the school said, as well as to avoid future “interference in the school’s operations and other governance matters.”

Jesuits will still be able to work at the school and celebrate Mass there and its leaders are “prayerfully discerning how best to proceed with the process of appealing the Archdiocese’s directive.”

The school, which posted a link to Father Verbryke’s letter on its Twitter account along with the hashtag “#BeBrave,” a reference to its school mascot, is hosting an information session for parents on June 24 in the school’s chapel. Nearly 800 students are enrolled at Brebeuf Jesuit, which was founded in 1962 and employs a faculty and staff of 132.

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Peter Schwimer
1 year 1 month ago

The bishops should look around and notice that the church pews are empty. It seems that they've lost the moral high ground and have no one to blame but themselves. In the meantime, dear readers, let us not confuse marriage ( a civil union) with matrimony (a sacramental union). Perhaps we should all simply stop judging and start loving?

REV DR J OECHSLE
1 year 1 month ago

Perhaps we should remove the name "Christian" from the diocese. After all, it covered up for sexual abusers. So shameful that alleged orthodoxy (being a minion to some ill-founded 'teachings' on sexuality far from the core of Christianity triumphs over orthopraxis. Methinks the bishop wants an 'unblemished' record in Rome. Sad and shameful. And they wonder why people leave.

Anne Jeremy
1 year 1 month ago

The problem with your statement Rev Dr Oechsle is that you imply that all Christians are somehow responsible for what very sadly and disturbingly, a group (large enough!) did by way of cover up for sexual abusers within the Church. The Church I belong is made up from a broad weave of family members, that's all - from sadly, 'the guilty perverts', to good priests and nuns; even Saints in the making; 'Mums and Dads'; to innocent children - BUT all united through the Sacrament of 'Christian Baptism' nevertheless! (all called for so much good, though prone to sin, some through freewill, capable also of terrible evil!! Thus what happened in the respect of the sexual abuse crisis, as you state in the Church, was completely evil and wrong, also impacting not just on innocent victims, their trusting families, but no doubt, casting the horrible shadow of implied guilt on all Religious. As easy as it might be to condemn all Religious, as one might condemn 'all men' as potential pedophiles (if you acknowledge that vast majority of sexual perversion is perpetuated by men!), this reasoning would and should not ever stand up in any proper court or inquiry & for obvious reasons e.g. presumption of innocence should be granted to all, until proven guilty!) Please, separate sin from what Jesus Christ truly envisaged for His Church! Most Church goers I believe are good, or at least try their best, and are completely disgusted at the events that have unfolded in the Church over the while. The Church and her followers (believe it or not!) are also capable of so much good in society, as often very quietly performed in the spirit of serving Jesus Christ. I sadly think this is something the Media don't always want to acknowledge, the broader Church currently in a time of great persecution, and this I think might be occurring in many Churches also, not just Catholic. This might serve I think to advance some very heinous agendas, because often, the Catholic Church, as well as other Christian Churches or Religions in general, tend to question these types of situations; being naturally inclined to pro-life ideologies etc. I remain unsure though what you mean by 'ill-foundered teachings on sexuality' held by the Catholic Church, as distinct from other Christian denominations, but would not think there would be too much acceptance from a doctrinal perspective, of homosexual relationships/Marriage. In fact these days, I sense that many of the Baptist/Evangelical groups to be just as critical of. Of the Archbishop at the centre of the story above, I suspect that if you are a protestant you might of course not understand, but in the Catholic tradition we have a hierarchical model of structure, meaning the Bishop in this instance, is held responsible for his flock in this particular diocese. His role in this story may well have come about because of complaints to his office by concerned parents whose children attend this school, and who wish to be true to their faith, for their children's sake as well. It is therefore appropriate for the Archbishop to be involved clerically speaking to ensure the integrity of the Catholic faith is upheld. His right here, should not be confused or mitigated because of the terrible sins of others entrusted in similar positions of power, but who failed. And yes, some people will leave the Catholic faith for all sorts of reasons, but many will stay, having faith in Jesus Christ. This happens in all faiths, with many people also wanting to become members as well. I choose not to leave my Church, instead fighting for what i believe in, to make a better Church. I have faith in other words, and can fortunately separate the sins of people (even within the Church) to the true Church that God foundered, and that the 'Gates of Hell shall not prevail against'. God Bless you!

REV DR J OECHSLE
1 year 1 month ago

Perhaps we should remove the name "Christian" from the diocese. After all, it covered up for sexual abusers. So shameful that alleged orthodoxy (being a minion to some ill-founded 'teachings' on sexuality far from the core of Christianity triumphs over orthopraxis. Methinks the bishop wants an 'unblemished' record in Rome. Sad and shameful. And they wonder why people leave.

FRAN ABBOTT
1 year 1 month ago

1 Corinthians 13:13!!!! Go Jesuits!!!!

THOMAS E BRANDLIN, MNA
1 year 1 month ago

Bravo Archbishop Thompson! All employees of any Catholic entity reflect in their lives the moral and faith magisterium of the Church. They do not have to be Catholic. However, they cannot be undermining their employer. The teacher is being dishonest. By the way, Father Provincial, thank you for sharing your jesuitical reasoning with us.

J Jones
1 year 1 month ago

Well done. Being Catholic does not require the RCC's trademark.

Michael La Rocca
1 year 1 month ago

This is my story of being fired when I was Master of Ceremonies to the Bishop of Las Vegas as well as many other high profile positions at the Cathedral and in the Diocese. Blessings to all... Copy and Paste this link into your browser: https://www.facebook.com/notes/michael-la-rocca/openly-gay-assistant-to-roman-catholic-bishop-fired-by-michael-larocca-former-ma/2130067849814/

Lisa M
1 year 1 month ago

Michael,
Your story is deeply troubling, as is your decision to renounce your faith. I hope you have found peace. I do believe Catholic teachings are often divided into categories rather than treated as a whole. The results are mixed messages rather than the message of Christ. That is not the problem with Catholicism but rather with some within the Church. The results however, can be good people being rejected rather than being embraced. Someone missed the big picture. I hope in time you will perhaps review the faith once more. Bless you.

FRAN ABBOTT
1 year 1 month ago

The world is not static. It continues to change, and any institution that wants to remain viable and vital needs to meet people where they are. Discrimination against LBGTQ people is not only a crime against love but SOOO last century! I applaud the Jesuits.

Raymond Rice
1 year 1 month ago

One of the biggest problems in the Church today is the failure of the hierarchy to recognize the concept of the sensus fidei whereby the laity has the power to express their opinion and to have these opinions accepted. If you read your church history you will eventually find that many significant church related problems were caused by the hierarchy. I imagine many Catholic Prelates glorified that they had conquered the emerging Lutherans. The essential problem is that the hierarchy think they are God and that the rest of the church are its creation,

Anne Jeremy
1 year 1 month ago

So you are essentially saying that if a given society submits to depravity, rejecting all known God's Laws, like the 10 Commandments, that this proves God's Laws are completely irrelevant; that Truth somehow is defined with what a possible large enough group now want things to be?? I think if you think what you are implying more thoroughly through, you will realise such thinking is potentially also very dangerous!

Paul Hierholzer
1 year 1 month ago

Perhaps the school's stand woud have been inspiring fifty years ago. Today it waxes sadly irrelevant.

Will Nier
1 year 1 month ago

The Archdiocese of Indianapolis is only doing itself harm by being so non inclusive and down right hateful. I would be ashamed of even calling myself Catholic in that place for that Dioceses is not. What a horrible way to give and example of love to the kids at the school. It would be a better approach to teach sex education and let the kids decide where they stand. These kids I am sure have non Catholic friends who are members of Christian denominations whom accept the LGBTQ lifestyle and same sex marriage as just another form of marriage between two people who truly love each other. I can't imagine their confusion.

Kevin OSullivan
1 year 1 month ago

I am first and foremost a baptized Catholic. Everyone should always go back to their roots. This teacher knew that he taught for a Catholic School, he knew the teaching. So why does he feel that he should be up front and center like this knowing full well everyday that these were the teachings of his schools. If he disagreed with these teaching, there were plenty of other teaching opportunities for him. Why the need to shove the down the throat of an institution that he was fully aware that they did not accept his lifestyle. However, he stayed, which I respect tremendously. One very strong point, Catholics are paying a high tuition to have their children raised in the Catholic Tradition and that is what they are entitled to.....He fully know this joining this organization
With all that said, I am not
supporting the antiquated decision but this teacher know what the institution was all about

Lisa M
1 year 1 month ago

The problem is the same applies to those teachers living with a boyfriend/girlfriend, those cheating on their taxes or on their spouse, those who became pregnant, etc. We must teach our faith in whole, not just in part. Guiding this teacher, not firing him is the solution, and an example for our children. If we applied “all ministers in their professional and private lives must convey and be supportive of Catholic Church teaching.” to the priests and bishops there would be few with a voice. We must work in spirit with the times we are in, and bring hope and change from the realities of our day. Pastoral, loving guidance together with moral teachings will bring the beauty of our faith to light.

Alan Johnstone
1 year 1 month ago

Catechism of the Catholic Church
PART THREE: LIFE IN CHRIST
SECTION TWO THE TEN COMMANDMENTS
CHAPTER TWO YOU SHALL LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR AS YOURSELF
Article 5 THE FIFTH COMMANDMENT
II. Respect for the Dignity of Persons

Respect for the souls of others: scandal

2284 Scandal is an attitude or behaviour which leads another to do evil. The person who gives scandal becomes his neighbour's tempter. He damages virtue and integrity; he may even draw his brother into spiritual death. Scandal is a grave offence if by deed or omission another is deliberately led into a grave offence.

2285 Scandal takes on a particular gravity by reason of the authority of those who cause it or the weakness of those who are scandalised. It prompted our Lord to utter this curse: "Whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him to have a great millstone fastened round his neck and to be drowned in the depth of the sea." Scandal is grave when given by those who by nature or office are obliged to teach and educate others. Jesus reproaches the scribes and Pharisees on this account: he likens them to wolves in sheep's clothing.

2286 Scandal can be provoked by laws or institutions, by fashion or opinion.

Therefore, they are guilty of scandal who establish laws or social structures leading to the decline of morals and the corruption of religious practice, or to "social conditions that, intentionally or not, make Christian conduct and obedience to the Commandments difficult and practically impossible." This is also true of business leaders who make rules encouraging fraud, teachers who provoke their children to anger, or manipulators of public opinion who turn it away from moral values.

2287 Anyone who uses the power at his disposal in such a way that it leads others to do wrong becomes guilty of scandal and responsible for the evil that he has directly or indirectly encouraged. "Temptations to sin are sure to come; but woe to him by whom they come!"

The above from the Vatican website says it all.
The Archbishop is correct, the Jesuit responsible follows an all too frequent local custom of disobedience.

James Misiak
1 year 1 month ago

Interesting. You cite the Catechism of the Catholic Church, but you conveniently skipped a few passages.

2357 Homosexuality refers to relations between men or between women who experience an exclusive or predominant sexual attraction toward persons of the same sex. It has taken a great variety of forms through the centuries and in different cultures. Its psychological genesis remains largely unexplained. Basing itself on Sacred Scripture, which presents homosexual acts as acts of grave depravity, tradition has always declared that "homosexual acts are intrinsically disordered." They are contrary to the natural law. They close the sexual act to the gift of life. They do not proceed from a genuine affective and sexual complementarity. Under no circumstances can they be approved.

2358 The number of men and women who have deep-seated homosexual tendencies is not negligible. This inclination, which is objectively disordered, constitutes for most of them a trial. They must be accepted with respect, compassion, and sensitivity. Every sign of unjust discrimination in their regard should be avoided. These persons are called to fulfill God's will in their lives and, if they are Christians, to unite to the sacrifice of the Lord's Cross the difficulties they may encounter from their condition.

2359 Homosexual persons are called to chastity. By the virtues of self-mastery that teach them inner freedom, at times by the support of disinterested friendship, by prayer and sacramental grace, they can and should gradually and resolutely approach Christian perfection.

Alan Johnstone
1 year 1 month ago

2358 It is not UNJUST discrimination.
2359 By going public with a sham marriage and co-habitation for all to see, there is no way young people would not take it for granted that they are performing sinful sex acts on one another's bodies.

This is scandal.

Michael Bindner
1 year 1 month ago

Sacramental marriage is made by the couple before God. The priest or officiant is just a witness. Fecundity is also not a requirement. Bishops are running scared that gay kids will get married rather than joining seminary or that gay priests will start secretly blessing gay marriages. Worst of all, big donor families with gay children will demand a big Church wedding for their kids and the bishops hate turning down money.

Paul Mclaughlin
1 year 1 month ago

Can we deal with an important fact. The Couple is not married in the eyes of the Church. Their relationship - Canonically - is no different than the non-Catholic “married” couples.

There is no evidence that has been reported of the teacher promoting gay or gay married lifestyles.

How many gays are employed in Catholic schools and remain so?

Michael Bindner
1 year 1 month ago

As importantly, if the Church is not firing civilly married hetero couples then the only conclusion is bigotry. If the Court decides next term that sexual identity is covered under sex for purposes of civil rights legislation then the Church will only be exempt in areas where it is already exempt. They will be sued if they do not comply with the law. Since they pick lawyers who agree with them rather than give them a truthful answer, they will lose big, but with our money.

Stephen Gethin
1 year 1 month ago

While they should of course be consistent this is not bigotry. You can't be guilty of bigotry against someone when your reason for opposing them is their public promotion of mortal sin. Its like calling someone bigoted against Nazis because they oppose Nazis but don't oppose Communists. Yes, the school should oppose all public promotion of mortal sin, but the fact that another person is getting away with wrong Act X isn't a defense for one rightly called out for also committing wrong act X. That's the "why pick on me" defence, which you are taught in week 1 of law school is invalid. The defense gets more ridiculous when a person caught committing act X complaints of people getting away with act Y when act X Is worse than act Y. Homosexual relationships are objectively worse than illicit heterosexual ones.

SHARON FISCHER
1 year 1 month ago

Not according to canon law. A Mortal sin is a Mortal sin. They are all equal. There are no degrees of Mortal sin where one is “objectively worse” than another.

SHARON FISCHER
1 year 1 month ago

Not according to canon law. A Mortal sin is a Mortal sin. They are all equal. There are no degrees of Mortal sin where one is “objectively worse” than another.

SHARON FISCHER
1 year 1 month ago

Not according to canon law. A Mortal sin is a Mortal sin. They are all equal. There are no degrees of Mortal sin where one is “objectively worse” than another.

SHARON FISCHER
1 year 1 month ago

Not according to canon law. A Mortal sin is a Mortal sin. They are all equal. There are no degrees of Mortal sin where one is “objectively worse” than another.

SHARON FISCHER
1 year 1 month ago

Not according to canon law. A Mortal sin is a Mortal sin. They are all equal. There are no degrees of Mortal sin where one is “objectively worse” than another.

Michael Bindner
1 year 1 month ago

I hope that they have the courage to change the name from Catholic to Jesuit and dare the bishop to intervene. ENDA should not have an exemption for such foolishness, nor should the government if during the next SCOTUS term, sexual orientation is included is sex discrimination within the context of employment.

Stephen Gethin
1 year 1 month ago

This is brilliant! Can the Bishops now please tackle the Jesuit universities which allow gay clubs but ban pro-life student groups? To all the people out there defending the school employing a guy in a gay marriage, how do you defend the charge of hypocrisy? You well know that if the school employed a white supremacist you would be demanding their removal. We can't have people who publicly promote sin working in Catholic schools. That must apply to all serious public sin, not just those kinds of sin which you oppose politically.

Mike Houlihan
1 year 1 month ago

It would appear that the Archbishop's problem with the teacher in question is not that the teacher is gay; not that the teacher is sexually active; not even that the teacher has a "significant other"; the problem apparently is that the teacher is married. Is the Archbishop prepared to strip the word "Catholic" from the identity of every Catholic school that employs a teacher who is in an "irregular" marriage (including what used to be called "common law" marriages -- living together without marriage)? Or is he just one more hypocritical, gay-bashing bishop? (Cf. Thomas Tobin of Providence, inter alia). Let's be fair to Thompson, Tobin and the others: the problem is not just, or even so much, their ignorance, hubris and cowardice; the problem is the hideously inadequate approach to human sexuality that continues to prevail in the institutional church. Burdened by the weight of the sex abuse crisis and their collective malfeasance, bishops ought to resist the temptation to say anything, to do anything, that impinges on sexuality; they need to shut up and listen. Archbishop Thompson could lead the way by standing down, shutting up, and listening to the Christian community at Brebeuf Jesuit Preparatory School.

Vincent Gaglione
1 year 1 month ago

In the Nicene Creed we affirm that we believe in “one, holy, catholic and apostolic” church, small “c” catholic, which means all-embracing. I find myself hard put to argue that Catholic with a capital “C” shouldn’t mean the same, but with even more emphasis on the ALL-EMBRACING. To my mind the “apostolic” shouldn’t be negating but rather amplifying the “catholic.”

Baron Corvo
1 year 1 month ago

Curious that the bishop of Covington, Kentucky didn't remove the word 'catholic' from the sign board at that school that brought shame and derision to God's church and God's people when their students made international news displaying the red hat of the Infidel and the hate and ignorance that rag engenders.

Irene Baldwin
1 year 1 month ago

The 2nd point raised in Father Verbryke's letter is overlooked in a lot of the reactions: the unprecedented intrusion into the governance and operations of a non-Diocesan school. Dioceses around the country have decimated the American parochial school system. Now Diocesan leaders want to expand their reach and meddle in schools outside their purview? Like that will somehow turn out better than all of the fine parochial schools they've shuttered? Who in their right mind would welcome their involvement in a school?

Charles Kruger
1 year 1 month ago

Good for the school!

Now, EDITORS, please consider revising the following sentence:

"Father Paulson said that the school disagreed with the archdiocese and that it decided not to honor the archdiocese’s request to protect school staff and because the school considered it interference in employment matters by the archdiocese."

The archdiocese did NOT make a request to "protect school staff." It was the opposite; the archdiocese wanted to FIRE the school staff member. The antecedent is ambivalent!

J Jones
1 year 1 month ago

Agreed. That caught my attention as well.

Christopher macdonald
1 year 1 month ago

By allowing this teacher to continue to be employed against the wishes of the Arch Bishop, It portrays the stance to Ameica that this school and these particular Jesuits condone same sex unions and practices by their teachers and for the broader culture. Teachers are role models for the youth. This choice by this Liberal Jesuit clearly puts him in a position to be against the Bible, the Pope, and church teaching.

John Barbieri
1 year 1 month ago

As Tom Wolf once wrote:” I ask one thing about your sins. Don’t bore me with them.”

Irene Baldwin
1 year 1 month ago

I wish there was a "like" button.

Crystal Watson
1 year 1 month ago

Good on the Jesuits!

James Martello
1 year 1 month ago

Where is the faithfulness? Where is the humility? Where is the obedience to competent authority? How does any of this behavior reconcile with Sacred Scripture, Catholic teaching, or authentic Jesuit spirituality as taught by St. Ignatius of Loyola? I get all the feelings, and hurts, and emotions, but what about the Objective Truth?

J Jones
1 year 1 month ago

The objective truth is that the teacher has been gay for a very long time and by all reports he has been a very good Catholic school teacher and has never been accused of any kind of inappropriate or unprofessional conduct with the Catholic students or at the Catholic school. The objective truth is that he is a good educator of Catholic children.

Sarina Singh
1 year 1 month ago

This misses the point, regardless of good he is as a teacher, the bottom line here is people need to adhere to the teachings of the faith, otherwise, the insituition's teachings are meaningless with no value if the beliefs are not put into practice.

Lisa M
1 year 1 month ago

Sarina- That is true. The problem is how it was handled, at least as far as what has been reported. Did the archbishop meet with the teacher? Was the teacher hired knowing he must also live his private life according to the faith? Is the teacher Catholic? What would the Archbishop's response be to a teacher living with a partner outside of marriage? How about an unwed teacher getting pregnant? The problem is the firing. What efforts were made to engage this teacher so he understood the challenges that his lifesyle posed since it was contrary to the teachings of the faith? Any effort at all? It is the harshness and lack of compassion and guidance that I object to. Practicing our faith requires us to teach and to guide and assist. Anything less is not enough.

Irene Baldwin
1 year 1 month ago

I think the "competent authority" is a big sticking point. The Archdiocese is not a competent authority in managing catholic schools. They're all closing.

James Schwarzwalder
1 year 1 month ago

Did the teacher of his (her?) own free will sign an employment contract which stated a requirement to adhere to teachings of the Catholic Church? Did the gay marriage violate the terms of the signed Contract? Did the teacher of his (her?) own free will put news of his (her?) gay marriage on social media for the public to see? Nothing prohibits a person from seeking a new employer. Folks who sign these type of contracts should understand that they can ,and perhaps should, move on themselves if they choose to violate terms that they willingly accepted. I don't believe in immediate discharge of person in such instances, but the individual should be counseled to seek alternate employment in a system like a public school, where adherence to Catholic teaching is not required.

J Jones
1 year 1 month ago

The man is apparently a teacher of longstanding at that school, a teacher of skill, a teacher whose work as a teacher and as an adult in a child-centered environment has been praised and valued and never caused concern. All that time he was gay. For some of that time, he has been having sex with his husband. If their minds are not primed by people like many of you here to focus on what Teacher does when he takes off his pants, the students are likely to be as wholly uninterested in his private life as they are in the private life of any other adult at the school. So, the path forward here is for you adults to get your minds out of Teacher's pants; don't encourage the kids to think about Teacher's pants; and let the kids get on with the business of learning the subjects that Teacher has reportedly competently and satisfactorily taught at that school for many years, all with his pants pulled up, buttoned up and not talked about.

Tim Donovan
1 year 1 month ago

With due respect to all who have made comments regarding this difficult matter, I believe I can comment on several issues regarding this article. These issues included teaching, same-sex attraction, same-sex acts, and sexual abuse. I am a Catholic who's gay. When growing up in the 1970's, I experienced emotional pain, as I was taunted by being called a faggot, and was spat on by another student in elementary school. I certainly appreciate the challenges of being gay. For most of my life (I'm 57) I abstained from engaging in sex. Years ago, I gave into temptation out of loneliness and had sex with men. However, I regretted my acts, and received forgiveness through the Sacrament of Reconciliation. I do believe that marriage is the union of one man and one woman. I admit that abstinence is challenging. However, I have found purpose in my life in loving service to other people. For more than 25 years, I worked in different capacities with children and adults who were disabled. For six years, I was a Special Education teacher who instructed children with brain damage and/or physical disabilities and behavior disorders. I admit that it could be difficult caring for people who are disabled (particularly children who had brain damage and behavior disorders). My assistants and me were on a daily basis hit, scratched, and screamed at. I realize that parents typically experience the same misbehavior from their children at different stages of their development. However, I found much to enjoy in instructing my students. I still send a Birthday card and a Christmas card to one of my students, Billy. One of the disabled adults, Jeanne, with whom I worked with early in my career (I began work as an aide at age 19) moved into the nursing home where I live about two years ago (her mother moved in to the home at a,later date). Jeanne and me enjoyed personal time playing card games, and discussing books. We also enjoyed community games such as Bingo, as well as participating in arts and crafts and attending a weekly Sunday Communion Service. Sadly, Jeanne's mother died and she was devestated, so I did my best to console her. Jeanne then moved to another nursing home, became seriously ill, and died. We had kept in touch by phone calls and letters. I also found meaning in my life by helping to care for my three nieces and nephew (now adults). Finally, I do my best to help care for the personal needs of residents of the nursing home (both friends, acquaintances, and strangers). Without boasting, I also find it to be worthwhile to make monthly contributions to various secular and Catholic charities. These include (among others) Alcoholics Anonymous, Habitat for Humanity, Catholic Charities, my parish, the Salvation Army, Dawn's Home (a home for women victims of human trafficking), a senior citizen center, several pro-life groups (that are involved in providing women with alternatives to abortion, educational efforts, and political action), a gun control group, Catholic Relief Services, an agency that provides services for disabled children and adults, a homeless shelter, two Catholic colleges, my pen pal and friend who is in prison, an anti-poverty ministry that serves people in Appalachia, the Cstholic Climate Covenant (an environmental group), the Catholic Mobilizing Network (an anti-death penalty group), the Tim Tebow Foundation (which operates a hospital in the Phillipines, provides adoption services for disabled children, and sponsors proms for disabled people), the Halo Trust (a landmine temoval group), the Catholic Bishop of Northern Alaska, the Medical Mission Sisters, the Salesian Sisters, the Blue Dot Project (a group that provides services for women with post-partum depression), Philabundance (a food pantry), the Catholic Near East Welfare Association, and Samaritan's Purse (an international aid group sponsored by Rev. Franklin Graham). I fully realize that many people of faith (or no faith) do more to provide financial support to different charities. I simply wanted to make the point that I do find it to be worthwhile to follow the example of Jesus and try to assist vulnerable people. I also on occasion contribute to a,group that provides emotional support and legal assistance to people who are survivors of sexual abuse.
I do have,a,friend who's gay (we,had worked together at the agency where I worked as a Special Education teacher years ago). He,favors same-sex marriage. While I disagree with him, I respect his right to hold such a viewpoint.
Finally, I don't doubt that this teacher who has a,civil same sex marriage is at heat a,good person who cares about his partner and the students he teaches. However, I agree with the Archbishop that all teachers in a Catholic school (even those who teach subjects other than theology) are ultimately "ministers" of our faith, and should not behave in a,manner that violates Church teachings. I don't seriously doubt that the teacher in question can find employment in a,public or other private school.

Sarina Singh
1 year 1 month ago

Tim Donovan: we need more people like you in this world. I wholeheartedly agree with each word you wrote. Very few people who are homosexual themselves could come to such an understanding.

John Chuchman
1 year 1 month ago

The school will find that the action of the Cleric will have a positive impact, just as it did for a former Catholic Hospital in Phoenix.

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