Shortly after teacher Jocelyn Morffi married Natasha Hass at the beginning of February, Miami’s Sts Peter and Paul Catholic School sacked her – then, in a letter to parents, asked them to pray for the school.
Instead, according to this report, about a dozen angry parents showed up at the school the next day, demanding an explanation and speaking to gathered news cameras.
Cintia Cini, whose child was in Morffi’s class, said:
We were extremely livid. They treated her like a criminal, they didn’t even let her get her things out of her classroom.
Cini and other parents said they didn’t know or care about Morffi’s sexual orientation.
Our only concern was the way she was with our children, the way she taught our children and this woman by far was one of the best teachers out there.
Parents learned of the firing in a letter from the school’s principal last Thursday. It said only that “a difficult and necessary decision” had been made regarding Morffi, but it didn’t provide details. “She is no longer teaching at our school,” the letter said.
It said students’ education wouldn’t be disrupted and asked parents “for your continued prayers” for the school.
In April 2014, after a judge in Florida lifted the state’s ban on same-sex marriage, Archbishop Thomas Wenski, who oversees Miami’s Catholic archdiocese, sent a message to all employees.
It said every person employed by the church – regardless of whether that person is a practicing Catholic – is expected to abide by Catholic teaching, including the church’s opposition to same-sex marriage.
The letter said employees who didn’t obey could be punished, even terminated, for such activities:
Even if it occurs outside the normal working day and outside the strict confines of work performed by the employee for the Archdiocese.
Mary Ross Agosta, a spokeswoman for the archdiocese, said although Morffi was well-liked, she was fired for violating her contract.
Any Catholic teacher who signs a contract with the Archdiocese of Miami is acknowledging that policies and procedures will be followed and will abide by the teachings and traditions of the Catholic Church.
Now, parents say they are fighting for the reinstatement of a woman who didn’t just teach their children to read and write, but also ran a volunteer organization called #teachHope70x7 that enlisted students to distribute meals to the homeless on weekends.
Samantha Mills, whose child was in Morffi’s class last year said:
We were completely outraged, all of the parents. This teacher in particular has made such a contribution to the school. She never imposes her personal beliefs on others. She just does everything in love.
Hat tip: AgentCormac