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Archbishop threatens to fire staff who support same-sex marriage—UPDATED

Archbishop threatens to fire staff who support same-sex marriage—UPDATED January 6, 2015

Kathy Schiffer has the scoop: 

Archbishop Thomas Wenski, archbishop of Miami, has warned archdiocesan employees that any action in support of Florida’s now-legal same-sex marriage could cost them their jobs.

“Because of the Church’s particular function in society,” the archbishop wrote, “certain conduct, inconsistent with the teachings of the Catholic Church, could lead to disciplinary action, including termination, even if it occurs outside the normal working day and outside the strict confines of work performed by the employee for the Archdiocese.”

The policy extends to include posts (photos or comments) on social media sites.

Visit Kathy’s blog for the rest.

It’s worth noting that the archbishop’s statement doesn’t really announce anything new; rather, he underscores current employment policy for the archdiocese and reminds his staff that their behavior in all areas needs to remain consistent with Catholic teaching. This includes same-sex marriage.

UPDATE: A neighboring bishop, Robert Lynch of St. Petersburg, published this statement in a local paper yesterday:

Together with Pope Francis and in light of the discussions at the recent Extraordinary Synod on the Family held in Rome, I also recognize that the reality of the family today, in all its complexities, presents the church with pastoral challenges as the church strives to accept people in the specific circumstances of their lives and support and encourage them in their search for God and their desire to be members of the church.

Therefore, I do not wish to lend our voice to notions which might suggest that same-sex couples are a threat incapable of sharing relationships marked by love and holiness and, thus, incapable of contributing to the edification of both the church and the wider society.

In the midst of changing societal definitions and understandings of marriage, there may no doubt be some confusion. However, with patience and humility, our church must continuously strive to discover what the spirit is saying and respond to the Synod Fathers’ suggestion to discern what pastoral response faithful to church teaching and marked by respect and sensitivity might be appropriate for same-sex couples, even as God’s creative designs for and the church’s sacramental understanding of marriage are affirmed.


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