During a retreat for my school this group of people I was with mentioned one of the teachers, who is a male, is gay and has a boyfriend. I know who he is, I want to report this to the Archdiocese, but I don’t know if this group of people were exagerating, so I want to get the facts. I don’t have much time during school, when and if I do have time, how should I approach him and/or ask him?
You aren’t in the position to take any action since you have no firsthand knowledge of this. It’s up to those who do have or claim to have direct knowledge. You can urge them to proper action; bit you shouldn’t be doing the sleuthing yourself.
Yes report to the Archdiocese and they monitor this issue -
Good first step
Rumors should not go to the archdiocese! CarmelJerome is correct.
It may be prudent to meet with the principal privately and say that you heard a troubling rumor and leave it at that.
Always start at the lowest level of the chain.
Do not expect follow up because this is a matter for faculty, not students. Also, be very careful with rumors. Even allegations can ruin a person’s career.
I agree. You should not spread rumor and damage his reputation when you actually know nothing.
As everyone else has said, acting upon second and third-hand knowledge is rash judgment. There is also no warrant to go poking through the teacher’s private life looking for evidence. He is entitled to a good reputation until, and only until, he himself makes a manifest and certain flaunting of immoral behavior. We are Catholics and not like our wicked PC counterparts who carelessly barf up accusations of “democratic racism”, sexism, homophobia, etc.
Rumors easily become gossip and it sounds like that is what this is becoming. I’ll also guarantee this will not be the last “someone is gay” rumor you will hear.
But let’s take a step back. Assuming he actually is gay, but is keeping that separate from his professional life. What more could you really ask of him? Do you really think you and everyone in your life lives up to all Church teaching? If so, you’ll have a shocking life ahead of you. The key to Christ’s call is compassion.
There is no greater compassion than telling someone that they are living in sin and if they don’t repent they will go to hell, because we don’t want them to go to hell, we want them to go to heaven. If he really is living that type of sinful lifestyle and/or gets involved with a gay “marriage”, then he should be fired.
Pray for the strength to not be the “spiritual police” for everyone you know.
Many times there have been posts about this one or that one who is doing this or not doing that.
Focus on your schoolwork, and less on the alleged sins of others.
Put yourself in their shoes.
YES! I taught high school for 35 years, and to say that schools are the best rumor mills is a severe understatement. The very first question should be: is this man a great teacher and are his students learning?
While being a great teacher is important, we have to also remember that Catholic teachers are more than just teachers, they are in ministerial positions and as such there is an expectation that they endeavor conduct their personal lives in a manner that is not contrary to the Faith. It’s also in many of the employment contracts that Catholic teachers sign.
But we are starting to veer off-topic. The main points here are: The OP should not act upon gossip and should not go poking around the teacher’s personal life. If the teacher in question starts going around publicly acting in an immoral manner, then witnesses would have a duty to act.
Scott - WE AGREE!
Fraternal correction comes with it’s own set of rules. Most specifically the following
-There is a well-founded expectation that the admonition will be heeded;
-There is no one else just as well fitted for this work of Christian charity and likely to undertake it;
Here is a great article that explains “Fraternal Correction” in great detail. I suggest you read it before going any further with this.
Don’t spread Gossip.
There are several items to consider here. You’re confusing compassion with mercy, and fraternal correction with justice.
First, you didn’t say that you wanted to offer fraternal correction. Your first reaction was to go straight to the Archdiocese, to call in the ‘authorities ,’ if you will. Over a rumor.
You, as a student, are not in the position to offer “fraternal correction” to a teacher because you heard a rumor. The most direct thing you can do is to is to put a COURAGE pamphlet on his desk.
Second, what if this person does suffer from SSA and is chaste?
Third, he doesn’t *need *to be fired if he’s not breaking any morality clauses in his contract. Who are *you *to know and/or enforce what is in his contract? What he “needs,” as all of us “need,” is to go to Confession.
Lastly, even what you believe about this teacher to be true, it fits neatly under detraction
“Revealing something about another that is true but harmful to that person’s reputation.”
Catechism of the Catholic Church notes (para. 2477), “Respect for the reputation of persons forbids every attitude and word likely to cause them unjust injury.” A person is guilty of detraction if he, “without objectively valid reason, discloses another’s faults and failings to persons who did not know them.”
By revealing the sins of another to those who did not know of those sins, we do damage to that person’s reputation. While he can always repent of his sins (and might indeed already have done so before we revealed them), he may not be able to recover his good name after we have damaged it. Indeed, if we have engaged in detraction, we are obliged to try somehow to make reparation—“moral and sometimes material,” according to the Catechism. But the damage, once done, may not be able to be undone, which is why the Church views detraction as such a serious offense.
If this teacher is chaste and may have repented of his sin, how are you in the position to “make reparation” for destroying his career, marking him with scandal, and causing him shame?
As the Catechism of the Catholic Church says (paragraphs 2488-89):
The right to the communication of the truth is not unconditional. Everyone must conform his life to the Gospel precept of fraternal love. This requires us in **concrete situations **to judge whether or not it is appropriate to reveal the truth to someone who asks for it.
(Emphasis mine). a. this is not a concrete situation and b. you couldn’t reveal the truth because it’s only a rumor that you heard.
The most you can do with minimal harm is to approach the principal in an attitude of humility to report that the students, yourself included, are gossiping about this teacher. You are genuinely concerned for both the teacher’s reputation and the student’s gossip. And then you have to let it go because as a student, faculty administrative concerns are none of your affair.
But you’ve demonstrated in your posts that your heart is not moved for genuine concern for this teacher. You want him fired from the highest level possible. This isn’t about concern for the teacher’s soul. This is about your zeal to be a crusader for what you believe in and want to protect.
To involve yourself more than in prayer and sacrifice at this time on behalf of this teacher is neither mature nor prudential. Focus on your studies and offer up penances so that a) if the rumors are true, he repents and b) if the rumors are not true, to ask the Lord’s pardon of those who seek to injure this teacher’s reputation and livelihood.
I’m not sure what the vetting process for Catholic school teachers consist of in the US but in Australia, teachers have to be accredited to work in Catholic schools. Their personal lives aren’t vetted though as that would constitute a type of discrimination that would frankly see the number of Catholic teachers dwindle to a very small pool.
I’m with the majority of other advice givers here… don’t dwell on what you have learned and especially don’t gossip about it with other students. If you want to get it off your chest, I would suggest talking to a school counsellor or a religion teacher. You could phrase it in the way of " what should I do if I know something about a teacher that is upsetting me?". Then let your counsellor take it from there.
Before we.go admonish someone let us make sure beyond a shadow of a doubt.that sin has been committed in the first place. We should not admonish someone of a sin due to rumour.