Backlash at Catholic high school over firing of pregnant gay teacher

It would be nice, if you’re going to be reposting links from news sources such as the Guardian, that you include a two-or-three-paragraph quote from the article so that we can get some sense of it before we click through to open it up, and that you yourself offer some commentary to get the conversation in this thread started. It seems rude and lazy to just fire off a bare link and expect us to do all the work. Thanks.

A troll in our midst…:rolleyes:

Well, troll or not, there is still worthwhile discussion material here. For instance, from the article:

The school’s morality clause, which all teachers are expected to sign, is “quite vague”, Webb said, in that it only states that teachers and other employees must not publicly display or teach anything that contradicts Catholic doctrine. Legal experts say such clauses can often mask unlawful discrimination.

This is precisely why Bishop Vasa and the Archdiocese of Cincinnati have rewritten these clauses so that they specifically mention what kinds of acts can get you fired, so nobody gets blindsided and everyone knows the expectations. Of course the usual suspects whined and moaned about them, often revealing that they are more offended that Church teachings on moral behavior exist at all than being offended that they expect people to live by them.

The “mask unlawful discrimination” is just flat out baloney. Teachers in Catholic schools are more than teachers, it is also a ministerial position. And for once the Supreme Court had its head screwed on right and ruled in Hosanna-Tabor that they are going to stay out of decisions on who is and isn’t a minister of a faith, and thus, Catholic schools can fire and hire as they please.

On one hand I’m thinking why sack a good teacher, on the other, why would she be openly gay, get married, and then conceive, and not think the school would have a problem with it?

Why don’t the Catholic schools just not employ gay people from the start, because they don’t want them there in the first place as they don’t set the moral standard. I take it a women would be sacked if she falls pregnant unmarried too?

Maybe all teachers of catholic schools should be married, then there’d be no problem, oh wait, just problems of marriages failing!
All these things happen in the real world, the kids know more nowadays than I ever did, and they aren’t afraid to accept people as they are.
I never knew if my teachers were married or not, it wasn’t my business, I only found out when some classmates would ask personal questions of the teachers, and some answered some did not!

There is no “backlash”.

Marian H.S. is a long-standing Catholic girls H.S. in metro Detroit.

This is just more media promotion of the gay agenda and pot-stirring, trying to make it seem like there is some kind of controversy, and playing to the secularists, who are only too happy to chime in on the comments section. The Guardian also caters to a large non-U.S. readership.

The entire attitude that a Church - any Church, but in particular the Catholic Church - should bend it’s teachings and beliefs to what secular society says it should is ludicrous.

The Church is entirely BASED on beliefs, and you can either subscribe to those beliefs and be a member of the Church, or disagree with them and remove yourself as a member of the Church.

It’s really that simple.

When you are employed by a private institution that is a Church-operated endeavor, and you sign a morality clause as part of that employment, then it’s very cut-and-dry that you don’t have a leg to stand no matter how much you may disagree with what your employer does in a case such as this.

Morality in this case is not subjective. It is an objective matter of Church belief, teaching, and authority over it’s own institutions. Accept it or move on. Your choice.

I am unfamiliar with this news story, however a web search shows there has been ongoing coverage by the local media.

The fired teacher, Barb Webb, hasn’t been given an explicit reason for her firing, but she believes it was due to her pregnancy. If so, this would be very similar to a recent case in Cincinnati in which a lesbian became pregnant via artificial insemination. That teacher was explicitly fired for violating Church teaching on artificial insemination. However, the archdiocese lost in a jury trial and ordered to pay punitive damages as well as compensation for lost wages.

In addition, the Detroit firing is not unprecedented. Six years ago, a lesbian teacher at the same school was fired after publishing a book announcing her sexuality.

Coverage in the Detroit Free Press indicates that many students and alumnae are unhappy with the firing, and that they have organized to exert pressure on the school.

Thanks for letting me know what is expected when posting the headlines and links to the stories.

Is is it really an all or nothing affair? I don’t mean theologically speaking, but in real life.

A lot of Catholics disagree about the Church’s position about contraception, divorce, gay marriage, women priests, the real presence…

If it really were an all or nothing affair, I suspect Western Church’s would be empty.

Those people are known as “Cafeteria Catholics” and treated with some disdain by those of us who fully accept all of the Church’s teaching. Since we believe that the Church teaches Truth, how arrogant it must be to say I am someone who can pick and choose my Truth from a smorgasbord table and leave some Truth untouched after it has been offered to me?

Yes, it really is an all or nothing affair. Lots of of Catholics disagree but they aren’t the Magisterium. Truth is eternal and not determined by a vote on what is fashionable.

As far as Church’s being empty, I like to point out that one needs only look at the smouldering pile of rubble that used to be the Episcopal Church: they have embraced the surrounding culture’s suicidal embrace of Political Correctness and more people are leaving that denomination faster than if the buildings were on fire.

These questions come to mind;

Does God call you to treat these "Cafeteria Catholics’ with disdain?

Does Jesus treat them with disdain?

Let’s not play gotcha when someone is speaking informally. When someone doesn’t accept a certain Church teaching, we try our best to patiently explain their error. Usually, Cafeteria Catholics deploy some real lousy arguments, and there is a strong temptation to sledgehammer them in a snarky fashion, but hey, no one here is claiming they are perfect.

I believe that Rev 3 speak to your point


"I know your works; I know that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were either cold or hot.

So, because you are lukewarm, neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of my mouth.

Matthew 5:13 also is relevant

"You are the salt of the earth; but if the salt has become tasteless, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled under foot by men.

Would you call it disdain :shrug:

According to the footnote in the NAB

11 [15-16] Halfhearted commitment to the faith is nauseating to Christ; cf ⇒ Romans 12:11


Do not grow slack in zeal, be fervent in spirit, serve the Lord.

Crown College, I guess they must be Fundamentalists have this ethics clause:

In addition to the above, the following text indicates the C&MA and Crown College’s understanding and teaching position on certain points which could be subject to various interpretations. Crown College does not necessarily deny employment to persons merely for lack of firm personal conviction on any teaching position in these explanatory notes. However, the College does weigh carefully the understanding and personal convictions of employment applicants on these points as well as the nature of their prospective work assignments in determining their suitability for employment.

The Bible is clear in its teaching on the sanctity of life. Life begins at conception. We are opposed to the destruction of innocent life through abortion on demand.

Homosexual conduct is incompatible with Christian teaching and cannot be condoned. Therefore persons who engage in homosexual conduct and/or relationships may not be accepted for employment or continued employment.

Divorce and remarriage is permissible when one’s spouse (not oneself) has been guilty of adultery and restoration of the broken marriage vows has become impossible (Matthew 19:9). Divorce and remarriage is permissible when one’s spouse (not oneself) abandons the marriage (1 Corinthians 7:15). Divorce and remarriage is permissible if the parties made no profession of faith prior to or at the time of the divorce (2 Corinthians 5:17).

Good for them, they spell it out. Back when I was in college and high school, these weren’t really issues.

We really need to be charitable in discussion to keep this thread open.

Really? Re-read your post and see if it doesn’t sound holier than thou. You do realize that even most priests don’t agree 100% with all of the social dogma? Most Cafeteria Catholics fully understand the teachings of the Church regarding the hot button social issues, I would be much more upset if they didn’t understand the theology which forms our personal relationship with God. Nope, Jesus would not, IMHO treat those cafeteria Catholics with any more disdain than he would those showering themselves with kudos for being so ultra holy.:shrug:

Whenever someone accuses me of being holier than thou, I like to reply: "Nonsense I say unto you. :smiley:

And I can’t really grok the rest of your post. Frankly, it sounds like ad hominem to me. I was responding to someone who got keyed up about the word “disdain”. I think its gratuitous to do so.

I’m not playing gotcha. You made a statement that led me to politely ask specific questions about your statement.

You’ve clarified yourself, thank you.

Fair enough. To get us back on topic, all dicoceses as far as I know have language in their employee contracts about not acting or teaching contrary to the teachings of the Church. Because so many Catholics are poorly catechized however, it has become necessary to spell out exactly what is a violation. This isn’t mean at all, but protects everyone because the expectations are spelled out and no one can claim they were blindsided. In some of these cases, I think you can fault school administrations for being wishy-washy at the start of someone’s hire and then look like big jerks later. If they’d do it it right the first time, they wouldn’t get burned.

The Archdiocese of Cincinnati is interesting because if I recall correctly, the employee contracts make explicit that the position is a ministerial position, which I’m guessing was put in to take full advantage of the Supreme Court’s Hosanna-Tabor ruling.

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