Is it a sin for a Catholic to hire a gay person?

So there’s yet another Catholic school, St. Mary’s in Portland, OR, that tried to “fire” a gay employee and eventually caved to public pressure. (I know that technically they rescinded her contract offer, not fired her).

Now, I totally think a Catholic school DOES qualify as an extension of the Church, and should have wide latitude in their hiring decisions.

But now that the school IS offering the gay person a job, are those involved in this decision actually sinning?

Also, I totally understand not hiring such a person to teach, be an administrator, public spokesman, etc. I also understand the person wasn’t just gay, but actually announced an intention to “marry” a woman.

But what about someone applying to work in the lunchroom, as a janitor, etc. Maybe the “lunch lady” could still scandalize students if she kept talking to them about her “wife” and tried to convince them to accept SSM.

But what about a night janitor who comes in after school is out, cleans up, and quietly leaves without disturbing anyone? Even if the janitor was in a same-sex “civil marriage”, how would this situation be different from the janitor being straight, but be in a second marriage, the Church would not recognize that “civil marriage”, either.


But that turns out to not really be your question or the topic of the post.

The US Constitution and Supreme Court concur.

I am not familiar with the case.

In most cases involving Catholic schools and teachers who are dismissed, it is due to that teacher either disregarding or purposely transgressing Catholic teaching in a public way: abortion, unwed pregnancy, cohabitation, same sex relationship, opposite sex relationship outside marriage, women’s ordination, etc.

A person who is same sex attracted and living a single, chaste life is certainly welcome to teach in a Catholic school. A person who does not uphold Catholic teaching-- regardless of their sexual attractions-- is not qualified to teach in a Catholic school.

So, yes, that would disqualify them from teaching in a Catholic school.

There is quite a bit of jurisprudence on the side of non-interference in Catholic school or Church hiring and firing.

Regarding your title, I sure hope not because I did exactly that.

LOL. I’m sure a homosexual “lunch lady” or “lunch man” will want to go out of her or his way to change the religious beliefs of the students as they scoop the mash potatoes onto their tray.

I must be missing something, but do cafeteria workers at public schools routinely fraternize with the young students and try to do this?

You know…those radical, homosexual activists planted in high schools and working undercover to take over the world and such?


In answer to your question, it’s not a sin to hire a person who is homosexual.

If it was, some of the people you know (but perhaps don’t know are gay) would be jobless, homeless, starving, and on the street.


From the Catechism of the Catholic Church:
2358 The number of men and women who have deep-seated homosexual tendencies is not negligible. This inclination, which is objectively disordered, constitutes for most of them a trial. They must be accepted with respect, compassion, and sensitivity. Every sign of unjust discrimination in their regard should be avoided. These persons are called to fulfill God’s will in their lives and, if they are Christians, to unite to the sacrifice of the Lord’s Cross the difficulties they may encounter from their condition.

A teacher that is going to teach children in Catholic school should be a good representative and role model for those children. If their lives are in direct contradiction to Catholic morality, they shouldn’t teach or be in administration. It has been seen that homosexuals will try to get employed in Catholic schools to teach heresy and convert the students, and it would be hypocritical if they are supporting & catechizing the children in the Catholic Faith while they are living in sin. In this case, I would say some sin may be involved in hiring the person since it can damage the students & school. This doesn’t include the homosexuals that follow Church teaching and live moral lives, of course.

However, if the homosexual were simply a lunch lady or a custodian, I think that would be fine since they do not teach the children nor do they even really talk to them. No one would perceive any scandal, I would think.

Thank you for the quote.

There is a big difference between a person with a homosexual orientation who is a practicing Catholic and someone who is a gay activist in opposition to the Church’s teaching on marriage and sexual expression.

I would perceive scandal. A catholic school should not hire ANYONE who publically disobeys Church teaching persistently.

You would be surprised how popular janitors are in schools. Everyone knows their name, and once we got together a gift basket after one of our favorites lost his mother. Did you see that video clip of second graders lining up for a janitor to sign their yearbooks? Virtually everyone who works in a school has influence over students.

Yes, I suppose you are correct. Now that I think about it, the janitors at my school are also popular with a few of the students. I suppose, then, that no one shall be hired that is not in good moral standing with the Church.

From what I remember as a child most if not all those employed at a Catholic school was a Catholic in good standing. My grandfather was the janitor but now it may be hard to find all employees to be a Catholic or people who apply for the job may file discrimination if they aren’t hired if they can do the job of janitor or lunch person.

So, no public sinners, such as remarried divorcees and those who fail to attend Mass regularly.

You will have to exclude all sinners, not just some sinners if you are to avoid discrimination lawsuits. Picking and choosing between sins is an obvious example of discrimination.


Thank you for the reminder about not picking and choosing which sins we condone.:rolleyes:

Interesting replies so far.

But I’d like to expand this beyond the boundaries of a Catholic institution hiring a gay person, which is what all these Catholic school cases are about.

What if, say, a Catholic owns a small business that is completely secular such as an auto body shop, grocery store, etc. So there is a “Catholic employer” involved but the business itself is not really “Catholic”.

Do the same rules apply? Or would that constitute “unjust discrimination” per the Catechism?

LOL! No – the issue isn’t whether they’re trying to ‘win new recruits’. The issue is the ‘sin of scandal.’ You know how it goes: “Mr Smith is a nice guy; I like Mr Smith; Mr Smith is doing X; the school knows Mr Smith is doing X, and doesn’t do anything about it; therefore, doing X is good (and is condoned by the school).”

In answer to your question, it’s not a sin to hire a person who is homosexual.

Right; but, for some jobs, it would be inappropriate (as in the Catholic school example), since their position implies that they are publicly following what the Church teaches.

I would distinguish between someone who has same sex attraction and someone who in any way promotes homosexuality. But for both whether it is a sin depends on the job. It certainly could be imprudent or scandalous. I would be very wary of hiring someone who promotes homosexuality because it is becoming a protected class. Protected classes are very risky employees in terms of your ability to restrict their behavior, such as promoting homosexuality, and financial liability. A person who has same sex attraction but is resisting it is at risk for later embracing homosexuality. This is especially so given our culture.

Why would it be a scandal or sinful to hire someone with SSA who is not acting on that attraction?
A person with SSA and remaining faithful to the Church is a great example of how to remain faithful and counter to the current culture of our world. I fail to see how it is sinful in anyway.

If you act like you don’t expect them to remain faithful and don’t offer them support, why would you are you surprised when they eventually get discouraged and give up on the church?

I also don’t hear the same attitude to divorce people who might be tempted to get re-married given our society’s culture, but I guess I shouldn’t be surprised at hypocrisy anymore.

I was not clear. I agree a person with SSA living chastely is a great example. The issue of scandal was primarily for those who embrace SSA and promote it. But it could be imprudent to hire someone with SSA, particularly if this is deep seated, for certain positions. The Church has the position men with deep seated SSA should not be ordained.

If the question was about divorce my opinion would be that hiring such a person could also be imprudent or cause scandal.

A person who is married and has opposite sex attraction is at risk for later embracing adultery and divorce. This is especially so given our culture.

Do you really want to go down that route? A person who has taken a vow of celibacy is at risk for later breaking that vow. This is especially so given our culture.

Catholic schools should stop employing married people, priests and nuns immediately, just in case they might sin in future.

You really need to find a better argument here. Anybody might be a sinner in future, so according to you all employees should be sacked.


If the homosexual exhibits doubts or weak belief in the teachings of the Church regarding homosexuality, then I would say that it would be imprudent to hire them. I think that, as long as it is evident that they strongly believe in the teachings of the Church on the matter and adamantly refuse to act upon their inclinations, it would be safe to hire them. If they do happen to fall into sin and/or heresy, then a prompt termination should occur.

This doesn’t apply to men going to the priesthood, however, since homosexuals should not become priests regardless of whether they live a moral life or not.

I don’t own my own business. I’m a director of a small department/office in a large organization. There are about a dozen people on my staff. The overall organization has several thousand. It is a ‘secular’ organization.

As I stated earlier, I hired a young man that I assumed was gay based on his mannerisms during the interview process. It turns out he is gay and I believe he is living with his partner. He has never “come out” to me but is open with others on staff.

In some ways, I’m a “Catholic” employer, I guess. Would I hire him had I known for sure he was gay and that he was living with his partner? Those things would have had no bearing whatsoever on my decision.

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