Fired Homesexual Catholic School VP Sues

He’s suing.

Of course he is.

Mark Zamuda, former vice principal at Eastside Catholic School in Seattle, is now suing the school. The school dismissed the openly gay vice principal when he “married” his same sex partner.

Students at the Catholic school staged a walk out and at least one Catholic priest stood tall against the collar he’s wearing by coming out in support of the students.

Now, said principal is adding the cherry on top by filing a lawsuit against the school and the archdiocese. According to a Christian News article, Mr Zamuda’s attorneys are arguing that his position as a coach, teacher and vice principal  was “administrative” and not “affiliated with the Church’s teaching.”

“I didn’t ask to be gay,” Mr Zamuda advises. However, he did, presumably, apply for employment at a Catholic School. Since he says he’s a “lifelong Catholic,” he also probably knew that the Catholic Church teaches that sex outside marriage between one man and one woman is a mortal sin. He may even have read the employment contract that he signed agreeing that his public behaviors would at all times be consistent with the values and teachings of the Catholic Church.  He may also have read the same requirement in the employee handbook.

How will this nasty little dirt fight end?

Who knows?

Let’s just sit back and see if the renegade Catholics in Seattle can top themselves in thumbing their noses at the Church this Lent, or if they’ve reached their true bottom.

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

    “How will this nasty little dirt fight end?”

    The same way it always does in Washington State- with the church backing down.

  • SisterCynthia

    It’s Seattle, the “San Fran of WA.” Of course the “faithful” that will be in the press will continue to stand against the teachings of the Church (those who are truly faithful are fewer and much quieter and are not popular with the media). As for where the court battle will go, it will land in the 9th Circuit no matter who wins, unless the school takes the coward’s way out and gives him some hush money. The liberal 9th would side with the gay guy as a matter of course, for they judge according to their view of what society “should be,” not the law. And this will again yield the question to “pay him and be done?” or take it all the way to the top and hope further up the food chain the judges will look at the actual contract. That is risky, since the liberal “justice” tasked with deciding whether or not to take a case from the 9th can effectively back the 9th’s decision by refusing to allow the whole SCOTUS to take the case. In a way, it’s kind of depressing to know where something like this is going even before a hearing is held at the city/county/state level. :p A miracle would be nice, tho. :)

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

      What this case proves, is that you should vet people based on their ability to fulfill the contract. This guy should never have been hired to begin with.

  • pesq87

    I’m sorry he lost his job, but he deserved to be fired. He should not have entered into the contract if he couldn’t fulfill its terms and had ample time to withdraw himself from the contract when he saw that that was the case. How can he show no respect for the law (of contracts) and then appeal to the law (in court) because he caused this whole mess. I hope the case gets thrown out.

    • Bill S

      If he can show that the school is choosing to hold him to a vague contractual stipulation while allowing leeway to say, an employee who has divorced and remarried without getting an annulment or is using contraceptives (although that could be hard to prove unless the employee(s) admitted to it, in which case, they could be fired too), or even someone cohabiting with the opposite sex. I’m getting tired of people using the First Amendment for purposes for which it is not intended.

      • hamiltonr

        What do you think is the intention of the First Amendment, Bill? What about those freedom of speech, freedom to congregate, petition the government parts? Do you want to do away with them when they inconvenience some idea you have, as well?

        • Bill S

          I think the First Amendment covered a lot of things in regard to the freedoms that you have cited and more. We know that making sure that the people of the United States would not be compelled to be members of the Church of England or any other state sponsored religion was one of the main factors in including the reference to freedom of religion. I’m pretty sure that this part of the First Amendment did not guarantee the right of the Catholic Church or any other religion to tell the people of the United States how they must live their lives. It seems that this right has been presumed to be protected by the First Amendment. I think this presumption will be dispelled within the next year or so.

          • virago

            I think religion, any religion is suppose tell its members how they should live. Or at least advise in that endeavor. And if you don’t like the way a Catholic organization is run, don’t work there. Or abide by their rules.

            As for contraception, it’s affordable without insurance. I live in Seattle, skip a latte once or twice week and that should cover the cost.
            If I worked for an Islamic or Jewish establishment I would not expect them to serve pork in their cafeterias and I would not bring from for lunch.

            Simplistic view , I know, but fitting.

            • Bill S

              I think religion, any religion is suppose tell its members how they should live. Or at least advise in that endeavor.

              If a Catholic school is going to fire an employee for not living according to Church teaching in his private life but then look the other way in other cases of others violating Church teachings in their private lives as well, then the fired employee can sue for discrimination.

              • pesq87

                Bill, I just don’t see it that way. These are individual agreements, to my knowledge, not some kind of group contract. I own a business and I have 12 employees and I can put any ridiculous thing I want into their employment agreements and they dont have to sign, they can take someone else’s money and go work for him.

                But my employees each individually agree with me to wear uniforms on Mondays. Sally fails to wear hers and so does Jim. I can fire Sally for breaking the terms of her agreement.

                My separate agreement with Jim is none of Sally’s business. I dont owe Sally anything with respect to Jim’s contract and how I choose to enforce it or not enforce it.

                Can I fight an eviction notice with the argument that, “sure I didnt pay rent to the landlord, but neither did the old lady on the 5th floor and he’s not evicting her.”? I don’t see how the landlord’s voluntary waiver of his rights under one lease should operate to benefit another tenant who broke the agreement (failed to pay).

                • oregon nurse

                  It’s never that simple. You cannot enforce an employee agreement that violates employment law. That’s where religious employers run afoul of the law and why Tabor won because of the ministry clause. Of course, in practical terms that means a dispute has to come to the attention of a lawyer/court. If an employee never contests the agreement (and wins) you will likely think all is fine.

                  Also, at least in my state, a pattern of behavior by the employer (for instance severance pay) is enough to establish an unwritten contract that has to be applied to all employees, or at least a category of employees. The big question is what constitutes a pattern, 1 instance, 2, 3…? Usually a judge decides.

            • Fabio Paolo Barbieri

              Above all, you would not sue them to force them to serve bacon at breakfast.

        • Bill S

          I think that the First Amendment served many purposes. As far as whether it was intended to protect the rights of the Catholic Church to tell people how they should live their lives, I don’t know. The Catholic Church and people like the Greens of Hobby Lobby seem to think that the First Amendment protects their right to control the lives of other people of the United States. I would think that the First Amendment would protect the people of the United States from being told what to do by any religion or religious person. Questions about the First Amendment should be fairly well answered within the next couple of years.

          • FW Ken

            You might want to read up on the background of the first amendment. At that time it was illegal to be Roman Catholic in England, although I think participation in Church of England services was not required, as it had been in the 16th century. The heart of the Elizabethan Settlement was that while religious conformity could be required, private conscience was not the Queen’s concern. The American founders – protestants and deists, for the most part – made it all consistent: the national government could not establish an official church, nor restrict the free exercise of religion. Note that some states had established churches, although the first amendment was eventually applied to all levels of government.

            Of course, none of this pertains to “the Catholic Church” which is a community of people united under a common doctrine and worship, no more than it pertains to the Greens. No one is restricting persons who wish to use contraceptives. They are only saying that they can’t, under the constitution, be compelled to pay for the choices of others. That’s a free exercise, not an establishment, issue.

            • Bill S

              …the national government could not establish an official church, nor restrict the free exercise of religion.

              Ken,

              What exactly do you see “the free exercise of religion” to encompass? The government can’t restrict the saying of mass on Sunday, religious instruction, prayer, etc. Imposing your religion on others by restricting their free exercise of their right not to be regulated by your religion does not seem like it should be covered under the free exercise of religion. I think the courts are going to have to decide just exactly what should be covered under the free exercise of religion. It seems like people are trying to take advantage of that clause in the First Amendment.

              • hamiltonr

                Bill, I’m going to start deleting this argument out of sheer boredom. It’s been said and refuted on this blog a pazillion times.

                • Bill S

                  Not everyone is in agreement on what constitutes the free exercise of religion. Since it depends on a definitive interpretation of the First Amendment by the courts, there is no sense in arguing about it. I agree. You do acknowledge that the Supreme Court is the final arbiter on this issue, do you not?

                  • hamiltonr

                    Only in a temporary manner. In truth no one is a “final arbiter” in this great Republic of ours. The final word is only final if both sides stand down.

  • FW Ken

    The key really is whether his contract stipulated adherence to Catholic moral doctrine. But I think it’s a little more complicated in practice. What it looks is that everyone knew he was gay and was shacking up, but it was essentially a private affair, politely ignored. A heterosexual teacher living with her boyfriend is not an entirely unrelated situation. In the case of the gay man, the public act of marriage blows the lid off the kettle. With the woman, it’s usually pregnancy.

    The important thing is that Catholic schools ought to be staffed with serious Christians, predominantly Catholic. A person blatantly living in sin cannot form a community that transmits the Catholic Faith to kids.

    So what to do in a society where most white, prosperous Catholics take their moral direction from the New York Times rather than Christianity? For my money, I say give the school – identity and property – to the people who want a Catholic school that’s not Catholic. Stipulate that the school can in no wise present itself as Catholic, or celebrate the sacraments as part of school life. They have made a choice: honor it.

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

      I’m not so certain the entire thing wasn’t a setup, from the very time he was hired.

      • FW Ken

        Always a possibility, but the facts of this case don’t make that obvious. More likely, he didn’t understand that what was tolerated as a private matter (even known in the school community) was different when the relationship became a public, legal affair.

  • Dale

    How will the lawsuit end? I am guessing it will end with an out of court settlement in which the school and possibly the archdiocese pays out an sizable amount. They will settle because Zmuda would win in court. Across the nation, the morality clause in teacher contracts are not being respected by judge or jury.

    The Archdiocese of Cincinnati, after getting badly stung in court, came up with a solution. They are redefining all teachers as teacher-ministers. The contract for next school year is quite amazing and worth reading.
    https://s3.amazonaws.com/s3.documentcloud.org/documents/1061362/teachercontract.pdf

    My guess is that the teacher-minister position is meant to take advantage of the US Supreme Court’s decision in the Hosanna-Tabor case.

    • oregon nurse

      This sounds to me like the wisest legal approach.

      Does this square with Church teaching though – to extend the meaning of minister like that? I’m not so sure it does. The use of the word minister and ministry, apart from the ordained, has been pretty informal. My parish lists a lot of ‘ministries’ but the word outreach is just as appropriate for conveying the purpose.

      Would a formal installation of a teacher as a minister be necessary for legal purposes and could that process even exist in our Church? And wouldn’t that limit teachers to being Catholics in ‘good standing’ anyway since I can’t see a non-Catholic being given any ministerial position? Isn’t that what got us into the problem in the first place by allowing non-Catholics to be teachers in our schools?

      While calling a teacher a minister might seem good legally, I wonder if it would be good for our Church or if it would be essentially a dishonest position to take and/or open up a whole other can of worms.

      I did a search of the Catechism for the word minister and the 3 pages of results it returned only referred to clergy when the word was listed. I have no idea what canon law might have to say.

      • Dale

        I am not sure whether a formal program will be necessary to qualify a teacher-minister under the Hosanna-Tabor decision. The Supreme Court mentioned that as one of the five factors in support of ruling. However, they also declined to set precise criteria as to what other schools would need to meet in order to be covered by the ruling.

        I think most Catholic schools require their religion teachers to be certified catechists, which means they have to complete a formal set of courses. Perhaps a similar sort of certification (although with less hours of instruction) might do to qualify the teacher-minister? Surely the archdiocese will have to ensure that its employees understand what are Catholic teachings, if those employees are expected to promote those teachings.

      • Fabio Paolo Barbieri

        You got the wrong document. You should have read Pope Paul VI’s ministeria quaedam, which uses “ministry” for what the Church has usually called a minor order. The orders of lector and of subdeacon seem both quite suitable (Although, given the features of many classrooms, that of exorcist might also do quite well!) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Minor_orders

        • oregon nurse

          Thanks for the reference. This doesn’t look like something that would apply to teachers to me. It is far more formal and related to the liturgy. Ministry as applied to teachers would necessarily be a much more informal designation imo and probably doesn’t even exist in the Church. So, if the contract was ever disputed it might prove difficult to back it up. And we know it will be disputed. Hope they are not just creating further problems for the Church, both external and internal.

          And unless the Church wants to call non-Catholics ministers, I think they should dump this approach or just hire Catholics in good standing which is what is needed anyway.

  • http://ashesfromburntroses.blogspot.com/ Manny

    If there is any justice in this world he will lose. The audacity of this riles me up.

    • Fabio Paolo Barbieri

      In this world there is justice. But in Seattle? Don’t get your hopes up.

  • pagansister

    This is interesting. When I was teaching in the Catholic Elementary, the PE teacher was unmarried with a 2 or 3 year old, don’t remember. She was living with the father of the child and they married while I was there, in a huge Catholic church, with her daughter in the wedding. Her situation was no secret. She was hired before she married the father, with knowledge of her living situation. is it because this man was gay and married to his partner that is the problem?

    • Fabio Paolo Barbieri

      The marriage is the outrage. How would you feel if someone took your child and raped her, and then the judge commended him in court for being a considerate lover? this is just about as outrageous. A marriage is a SACRAMENT, and a sacrament, in Catholic thought, is the presence of God on earth. This blasphemous and pathetic re-enactment pretends to abduct God and His power for the sexual satisfaction of these persons. Anyone who does not understand that by instinct and without need for explanation does NOT belong within a mile of a Catholic school.

      • pagansister

        Were you referring the marriage of the PE teacher I mentioned or the fellows in the article?

        • Fabio Paolo Barbieri

          The fellow in the article. But the application of this statement is universal.

    • http://ashesfromburntroses.blogspot.com/ Manny

      I think the adherence to the rules vary from diocese to diocese. And they might also fluctuate with changes within the system. These seem to be localized occurences rather than a national trend.


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