INDIANAPOLIS — The Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Indianapolis will no longer recognize Brebeuf Jesuit Preparatory School as Catholic because it wouldn’t fire a teacher in a same-sex marriage.
Indy TV station RTV6 on Thursday reported that the school’s board of trustees made the announcement in a letter to the school community. The board had been told that the “formal decree” would be announced by the archdiocese in the Criterion, the archdiocese’s newspaper, on or around Friday, June 21.
“Brebeuf Jesuit was founded in 1962 as an independent Catholic Jesuit school,” the letter to the Brebeuf Community said. “While we’ve enjoyed a collaborative partnership with the Archdiocese for nearly 57 years, we have always maintained control of our school’s operations and governance, including our personnel decisions.”
Brebeuf says the decree comes after school leaders and the Archdiocese were in disagreement regarding whether the Archdiocese had the final say in staff matters, including employment status.
“Specifically, 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,” the letter said.
“To our knowledge, the Archdiocese of Indianapolis’ direct insertion into an employment matter of a school governed by a religious order is unprecedented; this is 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. “
RTV6 had not gotten any response to a request for comment from the archdiocese. The school said it still planned to serve as a Catholic school. As of Thursday afternoon, there was no announcement in the online edition of the Criterion.