An Indiana based Cathedral High School mentioned they need to "follow the direct guidance" of Archbishop Charles Thompson and "separate" from the teacher
An Indiana based Catholic high school fired a gay teacher in order to avoid being ostracized from the diocese, say reports. This came right after a school nearby refused to do the same and instead went against the archdiocese. In an attempt to not lose their "Catholic identity," the administrators of the Indiana high school had to take such discriminatory measures. They announced this decision via a letter posted on the school's website on Sunday.
High school fires gay teacher to save its 'Catholic identity'— LJH (@LJH79651214) June 25, 2019
So the Gay, Fired, Catholic School Teacher, must NOT HAVE BEEN A PREIST? https://t.co/ts3Ss5up17
In the letter, Cathedral High School situated in Indianapolis expressed how they had to make this "agonizing decision" to terminate the employment of a teacher who was in a same-sex marriage. They also mentioned how his lifestyle went against the diocese, according to the New York Post, as he was "living in contradiction to Catholic teaching." The letter further insisted on how they had no other option but to follow the mandatory rule set by Archbishop Charles Thompson as they wrote: Cathedral must follow the direct guidance given to us by Archbishop Thompson and separate from the teacher.
Cathedral High School leaders said they are offering "prayers and love" to a gay married teacher they fired, as well as students, faculty and Indianapolis Archbishop Charles Thompson. https://t.co/XtABT71BIU— HuffPost (@HuffPost) June 24, 2019
Providing the example of Brebeuf Jesuit Preparatory School, a neighboring institution, the letter revealed how the officials were worried about having their Catholic identity stripped off just like them. It is Archbishop Thompson’s responsibility to oversee faith and morals as related to Catholic identity within the Archdiocese of Indianapolis: read the letter signed by the Chairman and President of the Catholic board Matt Cohoat and Rob Bridges respectively.
Brebeuf Jesuit Preparatory School in Indianapolis, is standing with its LGBT employees after the Archdiocese ordered the school to fire a teacher who entered into a same-sex marriage. The Archdiocese no longer recognizes the school as Catholic... https://t.co/e8CQyZWmaM— Marek Bożek (@marekbozek) June 20, 2019
This would mean losing their nonprofit status that would in turn not allow any priest to serve on the school’s board of directors. Now, if they didn't have any priests they would not be able to celebrate Catholic rituals. However, the Brebeuf Jesuit Preparatory School did not comply with Thompson's "direct insertion into an employment matter of a school governed by a religious order" because it was totally uncalled for.
“The Archdiocese of Indianapolis is cutting ties with Brebeuf Jesuit Preparatory School after the school refused to fire a gay teacher. “ https://t.co/1vUIUd2wyR— michelle pemberton (@MichelleRocket) June 20, 2019
The school officials said, "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." According to NBC News, Cathedral did respect Brebeuf's decision to not conform with Thompson’s guideline. However, they knew that they could not function in a similar manner to the Jesuit-sponsored school if they were banished by the archdiocese.
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 letter continued without identifying the teacher in its letter. Stressing on the fact that the Cathedral has been serving about 1,100 students from grade 9 to 11, they revealed how it has been a faith school for 100 years.
The letter further insisted: Our Catholic faith is at the core of who we are and what we teach at Cathedral. 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 board further acknowledged the fact that their controversial decision to fire a gay teacher would definitely stir up some resistance of students against the school.
It’s my understanding from a former student that the teacher being fired here is the husband of the teacher Brebeuf didn’t fire. If you attend Catholic schools, you support homophobia. https://t.co/T7oBKYkOEW via @indystar— 🏳️🌈 David Lytle 🏳️🌈 (@davitydave) June 23, 2019
Speaking about these challenges the letter read: In today’s climate, we know that being Catholic can be challenging and we hope that this action does not dishearten you, and, most especially, dishearten Cathedral’s young people. They also took the fact that not everyone might agree with their decision. Explaining how they understand this backlash they said, "We know that some individuals do not agree with every teaching of the Catholic Church and so their conscience struggles between the teaching and what they believe is right." In addition to that, they made it a point to include how the school as an individual institution respected such conflicts. "We want you to know that we respect an individual’s conflict between teaching and their conscience," they said.
Brebeuf Jesuit Preparatory School "can no longer use the name Catholic and will no longer be identified or recognized as a Catholic institution." https://t.co/KHpRG6OI3S— WFIU News (@WFIUNews) June 20, 2019
The whole thing had a number of mixed reactions. While some condemned the Catholic Church for doing something like this, others agreed that it was the right decision for someone who did not conform to its rules.
I’m glad they are more concerned about who he loves than the child molesting priests.— 🏳️🌈🌈Dave Bolick🌈🏳️🌈 (@ChrltncDave) June 24, 2019
Archbishop Thompson is not God, he just likes playing him.— ENMVH (@enmvh) June 25, 2019
Just when I thought there was good in the catholic people....— Bill Tarket (@tekrat2001) June 24, 2019
When you teach at private religious schools, you are required to a sign contract with biblical morality clauses. Not in agreement, but just stating how they can and will fire teachers.— Beth Davis (@bethdavis285) June 24, 2019
If you refuse to follow the teachings of the Catholic Church, and lead a public life of scandal, you give up your privilege of working for Christ's Church. Amend your life.— Future St. Derek (@CathoConser) June 25, 2019
For those who say morals come from religion, there is an example that counters this. A Catholic high school in Indiana fired a gay teacher to "keep its Catholic identity". That is immoral;— Edward Bollenbach (@emerituseddie) June 24, 2019