Woman says Springfield Catholic school withdrew job offer over orientation

SPRINGFIELD — On Monday, a woman said that Sacred Heart-Griffin High School a job contract was revoked when the school found out she was a lesbian. The State Journal-Register of Springfield reported that Lauren White had posted about the revocation on her Facebook page on Monday. The school told the newspaper they were bound by the Roman Catholic Church directives about marriage equality and that’s why the job offer was revoked. In a statement to the Journal-Register, Sacred Heart-Griffin President Sister Katherine O’Connor said that the school’s employee contract states that “conduct that is inconsistent with the norms and dictates of the Roman Catholic Church is grounds for dismissal.” The Springfield Diocese sent the newspaper the staff contract, which says “with respect to religion and sexual orientation, as permitted by law, we reserve the right to exercise discretion in employment decisions to employ persons who share and are committed to the values and mission of the Catholic Church.”

The school became aware of White’s orientation when she said her fiancee was a woman. The newspaper reported that government couldn’t interfere with religious institutions’ hiring and firing decisions regarding employees after a U.S. Supreme Court ruling on Hosanna Tabor v. EEOC in 2012.

Indy school no longer Catholic after refusing to fire teacher in a same-sex marriage

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. 

From RTV6:
“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.

A thousand years ago, the Catholic Church paid little attention to homosexuality

Lisa McClain, Boise State University

Pope Francis has spoken openly about homosexuality. In a recent interview, the pope said that homosexual tendencies “are not a sin.” And a few years ago, in comments made during an in-flight interview, he said,
“If someone is gay and he searches for the Lord and has good will, who am I to judge?”
However, the pope has also discouraged homosexual men from entering the priesthood. He categorically stated in another interview that for one with homosexual tendencies, the “ministry or the consecrated life is not his place.”

Many gay priests, when interviewed by The New York Times, characterized themselves as being in a “cage” as a result of the church’s policies on homosexuality. As a scholar specializing in the history of the Catholic Church and gender studies, I can attest that 1,000 years ago, gay priests were not so restricted. In earlier centuries, the Catholic Church paid little attention to homosexual activity among priests or laypeople.