Episcopal Spine Alert

Gay teacher wants to live homosexual lifestyle and teach at Catholic school. Bishop says no. Good for him!

Now, of course, Caesar is getting involved and attempting to force homosexuality on the school under pretense of “equality”.

This has never been about “tolerance”. This has always been about the militant pursuit of state power to punish the Church for failing to approve of homosex.

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  • Imp the Vladaler

    I hope that the Bishop enforces this sort of employment policy with heterosexual teachers who are known to shack up with a girlfriend or boyfriend, or otherwise engage in non-marital sex. “We’re against non-marital sex of any kind” is a much easier message to sell to a skeptical public than one that is inferred to be singling out of gays and lesbians.

    • moseynon

      Imp, I think you make a good point. Consistency is important, not only from a legal standpoint, but also with regard to the message being presented to the public.

      I am not sure whether the Diocese of Columbus has fired teachers for other violations of the morals clause. However, the Archdiocese of Cincinnati (immediately to the west) has, and since the Archbishop of Cincinnati is the metropolitan bishop for Columbus perhaps there is added relevance.

      Here is a short bit on the actions in the Archdiocese of Cincy:

      “Recently, the Archdiocese of Cincinnati has come under fire for
      enforcing the ‘faith and morals’ clause of its own contracts over
      employees who have been discovered violating the Church’s moral
      teachings. Within the past two years, under Archbishop Dennis Schnurr’s
      leadership, the archdiocese has fired two teachers, one for artificial insemination, the other for extra-marital sex, and a vice principal who publicized on a blog his support for same-sex “marriage.”


      It should be noted that the vice-principal fired for blogging in support of same-sex marriage (Mike Moroski) is not gay.

      • Reluctant Liberal

        I get the argument for not allowing people who violate Catholic faith and moral teaching to be theology teachers, but I think it’s a bad idea to shut people out of non religious subjects. For one thing, one of my teachers at my Catholic high school entered the church as a result of his time there.

        If Catholics want to be able to evangelize the world, they can’t live in a Catholic bubble.

        • Faithr

          Exactly! The whole push lately is to ghettoize Catholics. Hey Catholics, if you run a hospital and you treat nonCatholics you have pay for ins for things you consider sinful. Hey Catholic, if you want to help orphans d a home you have to agree to adopt to ss couples. Hey Catholics, if you want to help those exploited in the sex industry you have to refer them for abortions or we won’t give you the contract. If you take any money from the gov’t you have to conform to what the fed gov’t says. Even tho it is the gov’t that has changed its morality not the Church! It is the gov’t who has betrayed the bargain, not the Church. The ironic thing is these are liberals who want the church to get out of public life and put them in a sort of ghetto of Catholics only dealing with and serving other Catholics. Liberals who used to think that ghettoes were bad things. Liberals who wanted everyone to unite against oppression. But not peace not justice is their highest aim! Nope! It is sexual autonomy! Abortion and what used to considered immoral until about 2 minutes ago (in terms of human history) is suddenly being shoved on everyone via the media.

        • moseynon

          ReluctantLiberal, I think “faith and morals clause” in the contracts of teachers and administration is based upon the idea that teachers, coaches, vice-principals etc serve as role models for students. Particularly in high school, students are often aware of the outside lives of the those school employees, and will talk with one another about the off-campus behavior of those adults. In this view, employees of the school continue to educate the students, even when “off the clock.”

          What sets a Catholic school apart from a secular school is not simply theology. The whole basis for Catholic education is help students grow into adulthood with an understanding and appreciation of Christian values, attitudes and behavior. The adult employees of Catholic schools are expected to not undermine this process by behaving in a manner contrary to Catholic teaching.

          You mentioned the need to evangelize. Certainly evangelizing is something we all to do. However, teachers are important evangelists to the students, in the classroom and out of the classroom. The primary purpose of the school is to help the students develop in line with Christian values. As such, teachers do not need to be Catholic, but they should not undermine Catholic teaching, either.

      • Imp the Vladaler

        Thank you. Very informative, and good to see that a Bishop seems to be striving to apply the teachings of the Church consistently.

        I’m a little concerned about support for same-sex marriage being a firing offense, though. Certainly, homosexual acts are contrary to the teachings of the Church. However, I’m not yet convinced that supporting civil laws that recognize/protect same-sex relationships is sinful.

        To use an analogy: I believe that the First Amendment protects blasphemy, sexual depictions, and other content that the Church teaches is sinful. It protects anti-Catholicism and false religions. That doesn’t mean that I support blasphemy or pornography, nor does it mean that I think these are harmless acts that don’t damage society. Am I required, to remain in communion with the Church, to oppose laws (like the First Amendment) that protect such things?

        To put it another way: same-sex marriage is another milepost on the long road of loosening legal restraints on sexual conduct. First, sodomy had to be legalized. Is a Catholic required to support laws against sodomy? Or could that Catholic say “sodomy is sinful, but I’d prefer that Caesar take the money that he’d spend incarcerating people who have unnatural sex and spend it on food for orphans.”?

        • http://outsidetheautisticasylum.blogspot.com/ Theodore Seeber

          Flip it around to the other side of the political debate for a second, and I think you’ll find your answer. Is a Catholic required to support laws against unjust wages and legal action to avoid paying less than minimum wage to illegal immigrants?

          Therein you will find your answer. Fiscal or sexual, libertine attitudes are something we find problematic to support at best.

          • Imp the Vladaler

            Interesting analogy, but it’s got some problems.

            I don’t know if Catholics are required to support any specific minimum wage law. Given that minimum wage laws prevent hiring of low-productivity employees, I think a Catholic could be on solid ground by saying that it’s better that someone make ten cents below the current $9.19 Washington State minimum wage than to have no job at all.

            But even if you conclude that minimum wage laws are morally required, paying unjust wages causes specific harm to specific innocent people. Not so with same-sex marriage, which – although harmful to society – inflicts attenuated, nonspecific, and untraceable harms on society as a whole. You can point to a fruit-picker and say “you’re harming him by underpaying a desperate man for his labor.” You can’t really do that with same-sex marriage, blasphemy, anti-Catholicism, or sodomy.

            Finally, since you’re asking me to look at the other side of the coin, I’ll ask you to look at the original side: are Catholics required to support laws against sodomy, blasphemy, and anti-Catholicism?

            • http://outsidetheautisticasylum.blogspot.com/ Theodore Seeber

              I’m Catholic on both sides of the issue, which is why I can’t find anybody to vote for in the American political system at all.

              YES, I do find that harm to specific innocent people is indeed harm to society itself. Paying a worker less than a *living wage* means that his family needs to be supported by welfare and increased taxes, and therefore your business is being subsidized by government.

              Much as the Wiccans would hate me for it, the Wiccan Rede is impossible- you cannot do evil without doing harm.

              And yes, a good Catholic is required to support laws against sodomy, blasphemy, and anti-Catholicism out of love for the sinners that commit those sins; all three do harm to specific individuals as well as society itself.

              Americanism is a sin.

              • Imp the Vladaler

                And yes, a good Catholic is required to support laws against sodomy, blasphemy, and anti-Catholicism out of love for the sinners that commit those sins; all three do harm to specific individuals as well as society

                Not attending Mass is a sin. Let’s have the state order everyone to do that, too.

        • Clare Krishan

          you’re supporting lying, the analogy is that simple.
          A contract defines terms for employees in a Catholic environment, active SSA job seekers who accept such terms but have no intention of following them are liars. Let them seek employment in the rough and tumble of the public school system that accepts their rough and tumble. Its that simple. The reason folks prefer to work among polite and civilized students and faculty is because its much more pleasant. Well then is it too much to ask to BE much more pleasant yourself and not lie?

          • Imp the Vladaler

            you’re supporting lying

            What? This post discusses whether supporting a civil law that protects behavior that the Church teaches is wrong should be a firing offense. It doesn’t have anything to do with “SSA job seekers.”

            • Clare Krishan

              This post discusses episcopal spine, no? Conventional church teaching is “love the sinner, hate the sin” yes? Mark congratulates the Bishop for calling her out — not on her lifestyle choices, which are rightly protected under the law — on her breach of contract. She’s not being fired for being a SSA job seeker, she terminated her contract by breaching the conditions of the purchase of her professionally-credentialed time spent within the school’s walls. The condition she agreed to follow was ‘affirmative orthodoxy Catholic morals’ (or some version of those words, I not familiar with her Diocesan contract) not ‘Catholic conversion’ nor ‘cafeteria-Catholic sympathies.’ That means she is free to live her life thinking anything she likes (as many of her ‘cafeteria-Catholic sympathy’ colleagues also do) as long as she doesn’t act out on the terms of sale of her time spent with the kids in need of instruction in sports. As soon as she went public, her time spent with the kids became worthless to the diocese, null and void. Its not their fault. They valued her sports instruction highly that’s why they paid her for it. SHE’s the one who doesn’t value her worth to the kids she was responsible for. If she did value the kids she wouldn’t have risked losing her job that way. She seems to value her salary and perks (free of the usual rough-n-tumble of public schools) more than the kids themselves. That’s pretty selfish, IMHO, not a character trait we Catholics would pay someone to pass on to our kids, right?

          • Newp Ort

            “…accepts their rough and tumble.”

            What a crude and uncharitable way to put it. You probably think of yourself as “brutally honest,” right?

            “…is it too much to ask to BE much more pleasant…”

            What’s your excuse, Clare?

    • Clare Krishan

      Agreed – as soon as they reveal their lie, ie share their ‘shack’ing-up status freely and publically (the lady in question here put her ‘shack’ing-up status into the public domain when she published her mother’s obituary) then — and only then — does the Church have a right to (and obligation to) act. Everything else remains personal and private: many singles or multi-generational family members cohabit as roommates as a cost-saving measure with no hanky-panky implied. Such living arrangements must never be be subject to rumor and gossip, its none of our business how folks economize their domestic affairs.

  • AshleyWDC

    You know there’s a real person behind this headline, don’t you? A real person who lost her job and her livelihood. Perhaps you might consider being a bit less joyful over this event.

    • http://outsidetheautisticasylum.blogspot.com/ Theodore Seeber

      Perhaps that real person might want to reconsider active sexuality. It would be better for their life if they did; if the gay marriage debate has taught me anything, it has taught me that active homosexuality is about lust, material wealth, and anger that sometimes leads to violent acts. In that order.

    • Clare Krishan

      see my comment above – since she voided the terms, she’s the one who gave up her livelihood, not the other party to the job contract.

  • thomasc

    I’m not sure about this: though the bishop’s courage is a good thing, I fear he may be sticking to his guns from the wrong ditch. We aren’t supposed to condone unjust discrimination against homosexuals. It’s in the Catechism (and has been there longer than most secular anti-discrimination legislation).

    Is this unjust? I can see that the Church ought to insist on some commitment to its teachings in the employees of its schools: but that clearly isn’t a total commitment for all employees. It appears that this PE teacher isn’t a Catholic, so clearly her role was not one where the Bishop considered it necessary that she follow all of the Church’s teachings.

    It would make absolute sense to refuse to employ someone who attacked Catholic teaching, and it would make absolute sense to insist on Catholicism in some posts (such as the school’s principal and religion teachers). It would also make sense to require that Catholic teachers live according to the Church’s teachings, as if they don’t then that suggests to the students that those teachings are optional. However, if it is compatible with the school’s ethos to employ non-Catholics in some roles, why does the fact that the non-Catholic in question lives with another woman create such a problem? All it says to the students is that “gay women exist” and they know that anyway. It doesn’t suggest that the Church approves of her relationship any more than the Church approves of her denying the Real Presence in the Eucharist.

    If employing a gay PE teacher is not going to cause scandal or undermine the Church’s teaching, and I really don’t see how it would, then this does sound like unjust discrimination and we ought to be avoiding it.

    • UAWildcatx2

      You answered your own question when you said, “It would make absolute sense to refuse to employ someone who attacked Catholic teaching” and “It would also make sense to require that Catholic teachers live
      according to the Church’s teachings, as if they don’t then that suggests
      to the students that those teachings are optional.” When a teacher was living a active homosexual lifestyle, they are in fact attacking the teaching of the Church. If the teacher knows the Church’s teaching on her lifestyle (and it’s hard to imagine she doesn’t in this day and age), then she should know that the Church would NEVER approve of her decisions. You say that if employing a gay PE teacher isn’t going to cause scandal or undermine teaching, it’s discrimination. I would argue that her living with a partner in an active relationship does in fact undermine teaching, since it could be interpreted as saying, “Well, a homosexual lifestyle is ok in certain circumstances”, which does give rise to scandal.

      • thomasc

        Do you think the Church was saying, when it employed a Methodist, that rejecting the authority of the Bishop of Rome is ok in certain circumstances?

        • Guest

          I don’t – and I think it’s comparing apples and oranges.

          • thomasc

            I think there is a bit of a difference in the two situations, but it isn’t that clear to me what it is. If the point is “the presence of employees who don’t accept Church teaching itself undermines Church teaching” then there is no difference. If that is wrong (and I think it is wrong), then there remains the point that in terms of moral behaviour we may expect a Church school to provide an environment which sets an example. That would support being more severe on sexual misconduct than on intellectual dissent from Church teaching. But I am just not sure, on the facts as described, that she was undermining the example: it doesn’t seem that she was rubbing her behaviour in the students’ faces. Moreover, if *that* is the rationale, then it would need to be applied consistently or it looks rather like a particular animus against gays: for example, insisting that teachers didn’t sleep around or gamble inordinately. But part of that example setting probably ought to discourage taking drastic action against a recently bereaved old woman: *this* rationale is no longer dealing in “is their behaviour consistent with Church teaching or not” but rather in a more general “are we creating an environment conducive to the students learning how to be Christian”?

      • Imp the Vladaler

        When a teacher was living a active homosexual lifestyle, they are in fact attacking the teaching of the Church.

        The Church teaches that you have to go to Mass every Sunday and on holy days of obligation. It teaches that at that Mass, bread and wine become the actual, physical body and blood of Christ. It teaches that Mary was conceived without sin and remained sinless throughout her life, and was assumed body and soul into Heaven.

        By professing Methodism, wasn’t she attacking the teaching of the Church?

        • Sister S

          No. The point is that she lied on her contract, about her sexuality. She freely signed a moral clause to not promote certain things. Nobody forced her into it.

    • Imp the Vladaler

      This is an excellent point. If a Catholic school had a policy against hiring non-Catholics, that’s fine. But once the school has decided that it’s going to employ someone who doesn’t acknowledge the inerrancy of Catholic teaching on faith and morals, it’s a little odd to decide that this particular conduct is the disqualifier. Given that she’s a Methodist, she didn’t go to Mass and she didn’t recognize the authority of the Bishops in general. In the school’s opinion, that didn’t pose a danger to the moral development of her students. But this is a bridge too far?

    • Clare Krishan

      its really much more “If employing a gay PE teacher is not going to cause scandal or undermine
      the Church’s teaching, and I really don’t see how it would,”
      simple than you think: her religious and personal lifestyle rights are hers to balance. In pursuit of security of tenure in her God-given vocation as educator in juvenile physical fitness she elected to seek employment in an institution subject to caveats on education in juvenile spiritual fitness.

      If fitness is worthy of being educated in — and subjecting kids to rules of ‘good sportsmanship’ is worthy of investing a teacher’s salary in — then surely she must see that those same rules-of-the-game apply to fitness in religion for any spiritual coach charged with managing the spiritual fitness of our team?

      She’s not being judged for her personal faith (sacrosanct) or her lifestyle (also sacrosanct) but for a breach of contract terms: she lied for financial gain. She promised to conduct herself as a fit model for those she coached. She broke that promise. But actually the scandal comes, not from her, but rather from the Church authorities if they condone corrupting the absolute logic of Truth in the juvenile minds of their educational charges by continuing to pay her salary AFTER she voided the contract by negating the terms. They would be defining lying as “acceptable behavior” for an employee in a Catholic educational institution, contradicting the very purpose of education, teaching the good and learning to avoid the harm.

      Any ecclesial institution that did that would be a “kept” body, unfaithful to the mystical body of Christ. Its that simple. No prejudice. No meanness. No scandal. Just candor, clarity and purity.

      • Imp the Vladaler

        She promised to conduct herself as a fit model for those she coached. She broke that promise.

        She didn’t attend Mass. She didn’t accept the authority of the Bishop of Rome or the local ordinary. She rejected various elements of Catholic dogma: Transubstantiation, the Immaculate Conception of Mary. None of these things were unknown to the school. You’re absolutely correct that she did not “conduct herself as a fit model for those she coached.” But she was doing that long before anyone knew about her romantic relationship.

        Want to require orthodoxy from gym teachers in Catholic schools? Fine. But if you’re worried about the spiritual development of students may be warped by learning that their teacher lives with a woman, why weren’t you worried that their spiritual development may be warped by learning that their teacher doesn’t think she has to listen to the Pope generally?

        • Pavel Chichikov

          Was this person vetted when she was hired? Was she informed of the standards expected of an employee?

          • Imp the Vladaler

            I don’t know. Clare up there keeps on going on about breach of contract, but that misses the threshold question you ask, which I think is more important: what standards do the school (and Bishop) expect teachers to adhere to?

            As far as I can tell, there’s no accusation that the teacher lied about professing the Catholic faith. She didn’t promise obedience to her Bishop and the Pope. That didn’t bother the school. She apparently agreed to some “morals code” prior to her employment. That’s fine, but my problem with the a morals code is that the one she signed obviously makes room for rejection of huge portions of Catholic faith and practice. No one was checking to see if she attended Mass. Being Catholic wasn’t a condition of her employment, but her sexual behavior was. That’s a – dare I say – cafeteria approach to enforcement of the Church’s teaching.

            I’m totally, totally cool with Catholic schools insisting on Catholic teachers. I’m not so cool with selecting, here and there, the Catholic teachings that it’s okay for teachers to disobey.

            • Sister S

              There is a different between faith and morals. She signed a moral contract, not a creedal one.

          • Sister S

            Yes, she was.

        • Clare Krishan

          …because she wasn’t hired to teach RE but rather PE? She’s not expected by her employer to be a perfect religious educator as a Catholic in good standing, only a good physical educator as a sportswoman in good standing. Lying (signing her name to a contract’s moral-lifestyle clause while having no intention of honoring it) is not ‘good standing’ in sport or many other walks of life, d’ya not see that?

  • Reluctant Liberal

    Did my comment get deleted or am I having a Disqus problem?

  • Michaelus

    Carla Hale was born Carla Roe (really). She was married (as in a normal marriage to a man) and has three children. They divorced in 1999. She was not born “gay”. She made some decisions – like famous gay heros Gene Robinsons and Elton John – to leave her marriage and engage in some sort of homosexual relationship. I feel very sorry for her but she has no business working in a school.

    • kwdayboise

      Just because a person tried to live a socially accepted lifestyle does not mean that person wasn’t born gay. It may mean that they were confused and miserable while playing a part, but it doesn’t make them less gay.

  • Imp the Vladaler

    Catholic school hires non-Catholic; is shocked to learn that non-Catholic behaves non-Catholically.

    • Faithr

      Teacher hired by Catholic school signs an agreement to behave a certain way in keeping with that Catholic schools teaching. Openly breaches agreement and is shocked, ( shocked I tell you!) that she is fired.

      She broke her contract. She went in with eyes wide open. She is not the victim here.

      • Imp the Vladaler

        Except that this contract (which neither you nor I have seen) apparently didn’t demand Catholic orthodoxy in all areas. It didn’t, for example, require her to attend Mass, make regular confessions, or recognize the authority of the Bishop of Rome and the local ordinary. It permitted her to violate some Canons of the Church but not others.

        I don’t have any problem with Catholic schools telling teachers that they have to conduct themselves in accordance with the Catechism. I do have a problem with Catholic schools telling teachers that they have to conduct themselves in accordance with a fraction of the Catechism.

        • Faithr

          They are willing to hire non-Catholics because Catholics are open and not into discriminating except in areas where moral values are compromised. If you are not a Catholic, not going to Mass on Sunday is not a moral violation. Engaging in homosexual activity (and fornicating outside of marriage, adultery, stealing, etc) is an immoral act. You want to say that Catholics only can deal with other Catholics. They can only hire other Catholics. I am sure that there is case law out there saying this is discriminatory. And there is no reason for it, if everyone goes into the relationship with open eyes.

          • Imp the Vladaler

            If you are not a Catholic, not going to Mass on Sunday is not a moral violation.

            Please see the picture accompanying this post. http://is.gd/O3JaWA There isn’t one set of moral standards for Catholics and other for Methodists or Hindus.

            You want to say that Catholics only can deal with other Catholics.

            No. I’m saying that if you’re requiring employees to adhere to Catholic teaching as a condition of employment, you don’t get to select which portions of the Catechism you will apply.

            They can only hire other Catholics. I am sure that there is case law out there saying this is discriminatory.

            It’s certainly discriminatory, but it’s not illegal. And it’s not even close. There’s a Supreme Court case from just last term that said 9-0 that church schools can pretty much do whatever they want with their hiring policies. http://is.gd/1Focj3

  • kenofken

    It’s just amazing how efficient the diocese internal security apparatus can be when it comes to their female employees. They say they “don’t go looking” for any of these things, but every speck of detail from their personal lives that leaks into any aspect of the public sphere just somehow ends up on the bishop’s desk and dossier file, and really, what choice do we have but to exact the maximum penalty? I mean, we can’t have people admitting who they love in obituaries. That’s tantamount to riding the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence float in school uniform and making the kids attend as a religion class field trip.

    These bishops missed their calling. They would have been star players in East Germany’s Stasi or Hoover’s FBI. For that matter, Homeland Security could use some guys who never miss a trick or leave a lead unfollowed.

    Unfortunately, these Pinkertons in miters and collars lose their investigative edge and hunger for justice when one of their own takes up a “quasi-spousal” relationship with a supple young lad in their care. Even when the evidence spills onto their desk in the form of a grand jury ready complaint, it goes in the cold case file and everyone’s a privacy advocate. What goes on in a man’s private life is his own business…..

    • Clare Krishan

      don’t be ridiculous, the only “vetting’ going on is criminal background. Employees aren’t being moral-conduct-checked for eg out-of-wedlock births that resulted in adoptions. God forbid, no woman would go down that path if it was subject to such patent abuse (when I was faced with that option I declined, law required I reveal name of father, so no deal). The conduct under review is “public” conduct, as in a similar recent and perhaps more obvious case with serious financial reverberations for the Church in Germany:
      (Lady director of Roman Catholic Diocesan Kindergarten fired for SSA contravention of her employment clause – while IVF-impregnated. She was entitled to maternity-leave termination compensation, which under German law is paid out proportional to your salary and length of service and after 15 yrs this was a substantial sum. The Church had to pay out since while it won the facts of case, lost on appeal as Court held protection-of-artificially-inseminated-motherhood trumped protection-of-religion. This is a political football we are about to see played out now in the US. When constitutional rights come into conflict, which rights outranks others? And why? )

      • kenofken

        The things this teacher and other women teachers have been sacked over is not “public conduct.” It is private conduct that was discoverable or aspects of their private lives that they simply failed to keep an airtight secret. There’s a big difference. Nowhere was it alleged that this woman or those fired for similar reasons or IVF pregnancies were flaunting their private lives or producing scandal or contradicting the Church teachings before children.

        They were outed by sleazy little “gotcha” campaigns of the sort used in the McCarthy era. They were matters that no well-adjusted or honorable adult or employer would seek to track outside of the workplace. The men conducting these firings may well be within their legal rights to do so, but they should not be hailed as “courageous”. They are bullies seeking to exact some culture war retribution against gays and other women whose employment position makes them “soft targets.”

        • Clare Krishan

          discoverable? Snoopin’ isn’t a work of mercy last I checked. Recall our bipartite MO? “love the sinner, hate the sin”? As long as sin is not made ‘public,’ our MO follows part A “love the sinner.” Sins (and temptations to same) are private matter between us and our spiritual directors. When a sinner ‘outs’ herself, then part B of the MO ‘hate the sin’ kicks in. Kinda like an allergic protection mechanism to prevent harm to innocent 3rd parties, the kids in these cases, who apriori cannot be at risk from sin they haven’t yet been exposed to, can we agree? (That’s what ‘innocence’ means: its a highly precious yet vulnerable quality, so much so we write employment contracts to protect it?)

          As soon as an adult seeks to have their actions publically validated (an obituary notice is designed to solicit condolences addressed to the bereaved parties) then part B kicks in. First as a spiritual work of mercy — correct the ignorant — with the hope the sin is repented of and we can all relax back to MO part A.

          But if sin persists publically, second spiritual work of mercy — patient bearing up of wrongs — can be attempted followed up with a rpt attempt at correction.

          If thereafter sin persists… whazzup with that?

          Fool me once shame on you, fool me twice shame on me. right? Now ‘tough love’ version of MO part A kicks in: pls take that sin elsewhere. We loved you enough to warn you its not accepted here. We loved you enough to tell you its jeopardizing your employment relationship with us. Now we love you enough to respect your free will to spurn us with de facto termination of your contractual terms. We will carry on loving you enough to write you a recommendation if you’re in need of one as you pursue a new line of work. OK now, how much more ‘love the sinner’ do we insist on showering down upon someone who prefers a dependency on their sins to a relationship with us?

          Grace is always greater than sin, so we continue to pray for them right? But we shouldn’t be tempted to make an idol out of a misplaced dependency on services rendered. They are a means to an end (educating kids) and can be sourced elsewhere. Love is a person. He conquers sin. We cannot, We can only preserve innocence to the best of our ability. That’s all “episcopal spine” is. Recognize innocence for the signification of purity of Truth that it is, and value that fact higher than any worldly benefit or advantage that its betrayal could accrue.

        • Sister S

          She lied about her sexuality and signed a contract holding that she would not promote certain things. The point is that nobody forced her to do it.

  • Rebecca Fuentes

    It’s only upsetting because people don’t agree on what is immoral. If the teacher lived a lifestyle as a chronic thief, no one would think twice about her dismissal. If she frequently lied to her peers, boss and students, there would be no outcry against her firing. If she were found guilty of fraud, embezzlement or slander, it would make sense to fire her. In completely secular districts, teachers are held to standards of dress and conduct because they provide an example to students. Cursing and using profanity endangers a teacher’s job. Texting during class time does too. Wearing inappropriate attire, whether it be too sloppy, too sexy or too casual warrants a note in the file at least. A teacher discussing her divorce with her class gets another one. The teacher who gets drunk at the bar every weekend gets one too because word gets around and kids see and hear things. Parents come breathing fire and damnation because someone used the word “Sex” in class, because the teacher required their signature on an assignment, because a cell phone being used in class was taken away, because a short story didn’t agree with their viewpoint. That doesn’t even cover the hell coaches take if the football team did do very well this year. Teachers are held to higher standards than the local grocer, accountant and engineer because they have young eyes and ears trained on them day in and day out. What students see adults in positions of authority doing, they will assume is legitimate for them to do too. I don’t want my child thinking a extramarital affair is okay because the principal is sleeping with her friend’s mom (yes, that happened at the local HS). I don’t want my child thinking polygamy is okay because she sees her biology teacher living that way. I don’t want her to assume that co-habitation is an acceptable lifestyle because her English teacher is moving in with her bf (or gf, for that matter). Just like I don’t want her to see a teacher gossiping about other students or teachers, talking about how to scam the vending machine, or teaching them how to cheat on the final test.

    • Imp the Vladaler

      I don’t want my child thinking a extramarital affair is okay because the principal is sleeping with her friend’s mom (yes, that happened at the local HS).

      But are you okay with a teacher in a Catholic school who doesn’t go to Mass, and doesn’t believe in the Real Presence, the Immaculate Conception, the Assumption, the inerrancy of the Church’s teaching on faith and morals, the requirement to attend Mass on Sundays, and abstention from meat on Fridays during Lent?

      Because apparently this school was. They knowingly hired a Methodist. No one here will quarrel with your suggestion that Catholic schools should take care to hire orthodox Catholics to teach its students, or to dismiss those teachers who persist in grave sin. But once the Church has decided that adherence to these portions of the Catechism is optional, it’s hard to say that adherence to those other portions of the Catechism is mandatory.

      And it makes it appear to outsiders that the Church is preoccupied with pelvic issues. It’s not, of course. There are many, many ways to sin that don’t involve anything going into or coming out of your swimtrunk area. But it looks like that’s all that the Church cares about when sex is a firing offense but skipping Mass isn’t.

      • Rebecca Fuentes

        I wouldn’t on those things unless the teacher acted or spoke in a way that was derogatory toward those (or other teachings). I think there is a difference between explaining that Miss X does not go to mass because she worships at the Methodist church, versus explaining a lifestyle that inherently leads to or contains mortal sin. The Methodists still believe in many things the Catholics believe (last I check anyway, I haven’t been tracking them). Being a Methodist is not inherently sinful. LIVING a homosexual lifestyle (distinguished from have homosexual attractions but not acting on them) is inherently sinful. Being a teacher is being a public figure within the community of that school. It isn’t easy, but when you are in front of an audience all day, it’s what you are.

        • Imp the Vladaler

          The Methodists still believe in many things the Catholics believe… Being a Methodist is not
          inherently sinful.

          This just highlights the pick-and-choose problem. True, Methodists overlap a lot with Catholics. Jews do too, but less. Muslims also, but even less. Wiccans teach respect for creation. Secular Humanists teach everyone to be nice to each other. Once you permit those who reject A, B, and C from the Catechism to teach your children in a Catholic school, why not permit those who reject D and E?

          I’m sure you can make a gut decision that makes sense to you. Yeah, Methodism might be close enough not to lead students astray. But that kind of fuzzy categorizing is no way to set an employment policy. Do our teacher employees have to live the Catholic faith or not? Do they have to live it in these areas over here, but not those over there? If so, on what basis do we determine which portions of the Catechism we excuse our teachers from following? And what message does it send to the community when a Catholic school doesn’t care if its employees practice the Faith, as long as they have sex with the proper people under the proper conditions?

  • Eric Filteau


  • Newp Ort

    There’s no evidence she has engaged in gay sex.

    I recall some time ago Mark there was discussion about a gay musician who lived with a man and I believe you called it calumny to say the man was not celibate and attempting to live as a gay faithful catholic, unless you specifically knew otherwise, like knew he was having gay sex. aside from not even pretending to be catholic how is this case any different? did the obit say “my partner, with whom I have gay intercourse?”

    she went to great length to keep her private life separate from work. Someone reads an obituary, and its over.

    The Bishop could have finessed it and kept her on THAT would’ve been spine. What he’s doing is wimping out.

    Kids don’t read obituaries. There’s no public scandal. Or wouldnt have been if they had let her keep her on.

    • Clare Krishan

      “Kids don’t read obituaries.” she didn’t publish it for them to read, she published it for her peers and the parents to read, to solicit condolences as is conventional in a bereavement situation. I’m cool with that. So far so good. Now she added a second female name, implying her Catholic peers (ie the school Principle) or Catholic parents address any condolences to her AND her live-in gay lover? That’s not cool. That’s coercion of recognition of sin. Can we agree: love the sinner. hate the sin?

      What’s most unfortunate is that it appears to the outside world as if we Catholics only form such vigorous allergic aversion to coercion when its practiced by nonCatholics or other minority constituencies within the community. But sadly its an equal opportunity vice. Catholic educators and opinion makers attempt to have their sins recognized as non-sins: that’s a whole ‘nother level of Episcopal Spine flexing. Pray for our Bishops.

    • kenofken

      The bishop’s hand was not forced in any way to destroy this person’s livelihood as a disciplinary matter. He did it because he had the power to do it and he wanted everyone to know he’s got the power. Not only is that not “courage”, it’s not even manhood. It is a grotesque mockery of the example of Jesus’ life in the Gospels and of the most basic standards of honor and decency. Men who crush the weak to display their own power, regardless of what gods they serve, are beneath contempt in my book. Low enough to do jumping jacks under a roach’s carapace.

      • Newp Ort

        I don’t think I’d go that far, I have no reason to believe he is not kind and just and dutiful in most ways and I’ll give him the benefit of the doubt this decision is made according to his conscience.

        IF the facts as relayed are true I think he wimped out when he could’ve found a way for her to stay on.

        But there could’ve been factors not known to us that made that difficult or impossible. What if someone had it out for her and made the obit widely known before it got to the Bishop? His chance to discreetly work something out without scandal would be gone.

      • Sister S

        She was not forced to lie about her sexuality. You are simply projecting your views on to others.

        • kenofken

          Of course she was forced to lie. More than that, she was forced to maintain a hermetically sealed lie of the sort that many national intelligence agencies cannot pull off in the age of online data mining and leaks. There was no indication that she “flaunted” or openly discussed her personal life at school or on the job in any way. She failed to fully conceal something on her own time which was gleefully exploited by someone vengeful who brought it to the bishop’s attention, which led to his own spiteful or at least spineless actions.

          • Sister S

            This is speculation. We do not know this as yet.

  • S. Murphy

    For 19 years, they didn’t know she was gay. It wouldn’t have killed them to tell the anonymous parent who complained that since Ms Hale had never shoved the relationship in the school’s face, that maybe that one line in her Mom’s obit was misleading. If that wouldn’t have worked, couldn’t they have offered her early retirement?