The attack is underway in Columbus

Have you been following the controversy in Columbus?

Your readers should stand up to support Bp. Campbell.

Friends, this is going to happen more and more often. We are going to see myriad harassment cases in the courts, relentlessly attacking every entity of the Church on the basis of “discrimination” of “civil” rights.

The proponents of the unnatural have so far successfully pushed the rhetorical line that homosexual “marriage” equality (under the twisted word “gay”) are civil rights, in the same way that racial equality was a matter of civil rights.

They are dead wrong, of course. Homosexual marriage is NOT a civil rights issue. But that doesn’t make any difference. With the help of the mainstream media, most people – especially liberals and the low-information populace – have swallowed that line.

The Church can’t win this rhetorical war. The forces allied with the unnatural are too pervasive, too effective in the public square through the MSM. We don’t have either a large enough megaphone nor a message that can pierce through the fog of emotion or of ignorance or of lust-saturated self-centeredness that wreathes the debate.

In any event, we can do our best to stick to what is true and beautiful, even as they sharpen their knives.

It may be that dioceses will be able to fight off these attacks in the courts… for a while.  Eventually, the resources will be gone.

Here is a piece in the National Catholic Register.

Columbus Diocese Takes Heat for Firing Lesbian Teacher
The lawyer for the fired gym teacher has filed an anti-discrimination complaint with the city’s Community Relations Commission, and might also file a lawsuit.

COLUMBUS, Ohio — Bishop Frederick Campbell and other school officials in the Diocese of Columbus could face criminal charges under the city of Columbus’ anti-discrimination laws for upholding the Church’s moral teachings on sexuality by firing a lesbian gym teacher.
The diocese has come under fire for terminating the contract of Carla Hale, 57, a physical education teacher employed for 19 years at Bishop Watterson High School, after learning of Hale’s “spousal relationship” with another woman. The diocese fired Hale after an unnamed Bishop Watterson parent forwarded to diocesan officials a local obituary for Hale’s mother Jeanne Roe, which listed Hale’s lesbian companion Julie as one of her survivors.
At a news conference Wednesday morning, Hale’s attorney, Thomas Tootle, told reporters that he would be filing a complaint with Columbus’ Community Relations Commission arguing the diocese violated the city’s anti-discrimination law by firing Hale over her sexual orientation.
Tootle told the Register that he wants Hale reinstated at her job and might also file a lawsuit.
“There are many things that the Catholic Church considers immoral, but why is this treated any differently than adultery, divorce or birth control?” Tootle said. [He makes the appeal to the average person here.  The premise is "everybody does these things... so why is this thing wrong?"] Although he declined to provide evidence of the diocese applying a double standard, he said, “It does seem to be a situation where the Church picks and chooses like they are at the buffet.”
Columbus’ anti-discrimination ordinance criminalizes discrimination on the basis of “sexual orientation, gender identity or expression,” and has no exemptions for religious employers. Violators face prosecution for a first-degree misdemeanor, a criminal charge that carries up to six months jail time and a $1,000 fine.
“The Catholic diocese is facing a situation where simply living according to its long-held, very open and very public religious beliefs, could somehow be a crime in the city of Columbus. That’s very disconcerting,” Daniel Blomberg, legal counsel with the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty, told the Register. The Becket Fund is a Washington, D.C.-based law firm that specializes in cases involving religious liberty, but is not representing the Columbus Diocese at this time.
Blomberg said the Columbus anti-discrimination ordinance goes far beyond standard federal and state non-discrimination laws by imposing criminal penalties on employers, especially religious employers who “might require a statement of belief regarding marriage and family that some might find offensive.” [God forbid anyone should ever be offended.]
Blomberg said the law was “unclear” as to whether Bishop Campbell and other diocesan personnel would be liable for jail time or fines.
“It seems likely it would fall on the responsible decision makers,” he said. “But who those would be, in this context, I am not aware.”

First Amendment Issues
Blomberg believed the law looks like a clear case of violating First Amendment protections of religious liberty. Taken at face value, he said, the city’s ordinance forbids any employer from making any policy regarding sexual orientation or gender identity.
That means you can’t choose your priest based on their adherence to Roman Catholic teaching about sexual ethics,” Blomberg added.
He said one case that would be considered, if the ordinance’s constitutionality were challenged, is the U.S. Supreme Court’s 9-0 decision in Hosanna-Tabor v. EEOC. The court recognized the “interest of religious groups in choosing who will preach their beliefs, teach their faith, and carry out their mission” when it ruled government entities could not use employment anti-discrimination laws to force religious groups to retain employees with a ministerial function.
The case could be relevant as Hale and all teachers employed by the diocese were required to have “Introductory Catechist Certification” by fall 2012, as specified by their contracts with the diocese. Ultimately a court would have to take a closer look to see if the Hosanna-Tabor decision applies in this case, Blomberg said.
[Bottom line...]It does look like the Catholic Church can’t be the Catholic Church in Columbus without violating this ordinance,” Blomberg said. “I’m not saying that’s necessarily the case, but the language is so broad it does seem hard to see how those employment contracts can be enforced in certain circumstances.”

[...]

Read the rest there.

Say a prayer for Bp. Campbell. Maybe drop him a note of support.

His Excellency
Most Rev. Frederick Campbell
Bishop of Columbus
198 East Broad Street
Columbus, OH 43215

Office E-Mail

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197 Responses to The attack is underway in Columbus

  1. pkinsale says:

    This story was shared by George Takei on Facebook on Tuesday, and about 11,000 other people. What a shame. I’m sure the pastor and bishop are being terribly persecuted.

  2. LarryW2LJ says:

    I have discussions like these with my secular friends. They ask me why I am so dead set against “gay marriage”. I try my best to charitably explain how it goes against Natural Law. I also tell my friends that while I personally have nothing against people who suffer from SSA, that I don’t want anyone teaching my kids that this is something normal. The discussion always ends up with me being told that I’m paranoid and that, “No one’s going to force the Church to perform gay marriages”, and that all the LGBT movement wants is “tolerance and acceptance”.

    It’s already coming to that! This is tantamount to telling the Church who they have to employ – what makes them think that the next step won’t be telling the Church who they have to marry? I don’t know – maybe I’m an idiot; but I can see the path we’re going down and it doesn’t look good to me.

  3. I think every Catholic organization that hires people must begin taking the following step in hiring:

    > Every ad must specify clearly that applicants are expected to live according to Catholic beliefs, and that this will be spelled out in the hiring process;

    > When someone is considered, that person is given a statement–in writing–that says something like, this is your notice of our expectations regarding living and professing Catholic beliefs. I’d suggest simply referring to the Catechism of the Catholic Church, and have the applicant sign the statement indicating receipt and acceptance. If the person cannot do that, then the person is not considered further.

    > Upon hiring, the person is actually presented with a copy of the Catechism–and signs a statement indicating s/he has received it, and has been told that s/he is expected to be familiar with it, and his/her actions and remarks will be consistent, etc.

    If and when someone posts a Facebook item contradicting Catholic teaching (as happened here recently–and that person was dismissed, and that person revealed he was planning a run for city council, surprise!), then, at least, the diocese can point to this process in order to demonstrate:

    * Our expectations were crystal-clear from day one, before the person was hired.
    * The new hire agreed to live and profess Catholic beliefs.
    * The new hire cannot claim not to know what those are, because we gave X to that person.

    I’m not a human resources person, so perhaps they can refine what I’m suggesting. But insofar as we are allowed, under existing law and precedent, to expect hires to be Catholic and/or to live accordingly, then it simply behooves us to be crystal, crystal clear about giving notice and description of what this means.

    Otherwise, we’ll continue to see stories in which some sympathetic mother is crying to the reporters, “how was I supposed to know I couldn’t say/do…”.

  4. Margaret says:

    I’m no lawyer, and I’m sure the testers that are will correct me, but I would hope the recent Hosana Tabor Supreme Court case would apply in the diocese’s favor here.

  5. Patrick-K says:

    I was going to post something similar to what Fr. Fox said above. I’m not a lawyer, but it seems like a very good idea to have people sign something indicating they understand they can be fired for deviation from Catholic doctrine. That way you have a breach of contract to support your case.

  6. mamajen says:

    I don’t know…these cases just aren’t that clear cut to me. I am 100% opposed to gay marriage, civil unions, and endorsing or promoting homosexual behavior. But this woman had taught for almost two decades, apparently without incident, and apparently without anyone knowing about her circumstances (unless they knew and just let it pass until the parent made a stink about it).

    On the other hand, this woman was a gym teacher. As a parent I would definitely feel uncomfortable with a lesbian being in the locker room with my daughter, just as I would feel if a male teacher was in there. Not sure if that situation was happening at this school or not, but maybe that’s what prompted the parent to speak up. And, if the teacher lied when she signed her contract (again, not clear), then she deserves to be dismissed. Further details in stories such as this would be helpful. It’s hard not to be “low information” when the information isn’t being made available.

  7. Suburbanbanshee says:

    First off, I’m sure plenty of students knew all about it (you remember school too!) and that the scandal had been scandalizing kids and parents for years. It’s just that nobody did anything about it until now.

    Second, if the teacher were really interested in fighting the power of the Eeeeevul Catholic Church and offended by her Eeevul teachings, she would have found another job long ago. Apparently she was perfectly happy to take the Church’s filthy, bigoted money and live off it.

    So she’s not sorry to be a liar and a contract-breaker and she’s not defending the honor of her “lifestyle” and “partner”; she’s just sorry she got caught.

  8. Suburbanbanshee says:

    PS. Fr Fox — the standard contracts for Catholic schools routinely include morals clauses. This didn’t help the stink in Dayton, although it obviously helped the legal position.

    Heck, the standard contracts in public schools used to contain morals clauses, and probably still do.

  9. Jason Keener says:

    The homosexual cabal is become more bold every day. I just came across this story, too:

    http://www.lifesitenews.com/news/archbishop-prays-while-topless-gay-activists-shout-curses-and-douse-him-wit

  10. MF says:

    I think there is another issue at hand here, and that is that we have allowed lay people to be in positions that normally clergy/religious have held in the past. Our chanceries, parishes, and schools, are almost entirely lay people, and I have been one of them, but I am starting to re-think this idea. If the church would get back to having religious vocations and let go most of the lay people in these positions, I think we would be far better off in so many areas. We would certainly have control over positions in schools, we would be far better financially as it would be way cheaper to have religious in these positions rather than lay, it would be much better as far as religious education goes, you could change people around if they weren’t good in an area (almost completely impossible in a parish with poor quality lay people in leadership positions) and lay people would be in the world, where they can be salt and light. If the church can’t see this, then something is drastically wrong. We need to have the clergy get control of the house again and start repopulating these lay positions with nuns, brothers and priests.

  11. Frank H says:

    An on-line petition supporting the fired teacher has gotten over 50,000 signatures.

    A petition IN SUPPORT of Bishop Campbell has been launched today:

    http://www.change.org/petitions/bishop-frederick-campbell-and-the-diocese-of-columbus-stand-up-for-religious-liberty-and-the-gospel-of-jesus-christ

    Please consider signing it.

  12. acardnal says:

    “Heck, the standard contracts in public schools used to contain morals clauses, and probably still do.”

    Unfortunately, public sector employee unions make firing a teacher next to impossible!

  13. Gratias says:

    As you know, the concept of human rights, given to us by God when He created us in his image, was purely Catholic. It was a philosophical response to the need to govern the Indians in America.

    What the homosexuals will target next will be Catholic Church weddings, all in the name of human rights and egalitarianism.

  14. Spaniard says:

    Who has read Eclipse of the Sun, by Michael O’Brien? The situation seems pretty similar to me: go to confession!!

  15. Tom T says:

    This attack against the Church has been underway for sometime. Anyone recall the interesting developments and story that emerged from a traditionalists priest and a certain Cd. Weurl in Wash. D.C.? Maybe I am reaching here, but it seems to me to be a similarity between the two incidents, at least with regard to the media and the same sex relationship however, Bp. Campbell is ready, willing and courageous enough to stand up to the ‘powers to be’ as did St. John the Baptist when his head was delivered on a platter for it. It never ends.

  16. Bosco says:

    “…Hale’s attorney, Thomas Tootle, …” TOOTLE?

  17. Ralph says:

    “There are many things that the Catholic Church considers immoral, but why is this treated any differently than adultery, divorce or birth control?” Tootle said.

    He has a point. Why do we allow people who openly flaunt the other teachings of the Church a pass? My children attend parochial school and it does bother me when they have teachers who are not living out the faith. What is the difference between a woman who lives with another woman and a person who “divorces” and “remarries”? Are not both fornication?

    Don’t get me wrong – I am not disagreeing with the Bishop on this case. I just wonder why our line in the sand is with homosexual relationships when we have so many other “planks in our eyes” that we don’t deal with?

  18. Bob B. says:

    The obituary, in essence, put her status in everyone’s face – no one forced her to mention her living arrangements. After 19 years, she obviously didn’t care about Church teachings or if she signed a mere piece of paper giving her word (what’s that anymore?).
    These agreements need to be standard fare across the country and they need to be signed by teachers, administrators and staff alike. Even if they don’t teach religion, they are expected to live and display Catholic values. I might add that this should be applied to Catholic colleges, as well (e.g., the Lavender graduations are coming soon).
    As a Catholic school teacher, I have heard and seen too many examples of decidedly anti-Catholic behavior from many (e.g., an administrator saying that Catholics “worship” Mary too much and even a Jesuit priest who apologized for the Church’s stance on birth control) that it’s an uphill battle against the entrenched “protestants” wrapped in a false Catholicness.

  19. Cincinnati Priest says:

    Ralph (10:51) and others:

    The argument that there are “other things people are getting away with, so why is this different” is a complete red herring and holds no water.

    The point is that the knowledge of the grave immorality (contrary to known Church teaching) is *public* here. [Can't get much more public than an obituary]. The other things mentioned *are* in fact offenses that Catholic parish employees would be fired. They simply aren’t public knowledge.

    Do you know any Catholic schools employees who brag that they are committing adultery in the newspaper? Or even writes public letters say they are using birth control?

    Not likely, If they did, I can tell you that as a pastor I would have to fire them and would not hesitate to do so.

    Sorry, Tootle is grasping at straws here, trying to divert attention away from the real issue: that the city of Columbus is unconstitutionally trying to abrogate the right to freedom of religion.

  20. aandreassi says:

    If the Cardinal Archbishop of Vienna can allow a gay man in a committed relationship to be the head of a parish council, this fine woman should be allowed to continue to teach in a Catholic school.

  21. APX says:

    So, the thing I’ve been wondering for quite some time now is, diocese now are implementing policies regarding volunteers, employees, clergy, etc with criminal records. As time goes on, more laws against the Catholic Church resulting in criminal records are going to come up. Being a practicing faithful Catholic will wind you up with a Criminal record. Will diocese make allowances for such criminal offenses?

  22. acricketchirps says:

    Fr Fox: > Upon hiring, the person is actually presented with a copy of the Catechism

    Excellent idea. Who knew I could administer the death penalty in Algebra class?

  23. Titus says:

    “I’m no lawyer, and I’m sure the testers that are will correct me, but I would hope the recent Hosana Tabor Supreme Court case would apply in the diocese’s favor here.”

    It makes all the difference: it makes the legal action against the Diocese patently frivolous. The Diocese’s attorney should have already sent a Rule 11 letter to Mr. Tootle asking him to withdraw the complaint or face a sanctions motion. That motion should be filed on the same day as the Diocese’s Answer. Hosanna Tabor leaves zero leeway for nonsense of this type.

    As an aside, the issue is scandal, not “teachers who sin.” And what goes on in the circus known as the Archdiocese of Vienna is precedent for absolutely nothing.

  24. Bob B. says:

    APX: I hope so because if the bishop is doing his job, he’ll have a record, too!

  25. The Masked Chicken says:

    I wonder what the probability is that this woman is not Catholic? If she is Catholic, then the bishop should certainly excommunicate her for causing public scandal. My guess is that she is not Catholic and there is the root of the problem. You have to be a Catholic in good standing to be a baptismal sponsor. How much more should teachers in a Catholic school be Catholics in good standing.

    Columbus, Ohio is the test market for many commercial markets because it is considered, “The Average American City.” If this can happen in Columbus, it can happen everywhere.

    The city ordinance is, of course, unconstitutional and will be struck down, but, “The New Evangelism,” has certainly got its work cut out for it if it is to muzzled from the start. It is time for the Church to either advance against the evils of society or ghettoize until the storm of insanity passes.

    The Chicken

  26. Frank H says:

    Masked Chicken: She is Methodist according to news reports.

  27. Suburban:

    Yes, I know our contracts have morals clauses–or they are supposed to; and that probably suffices for a legal case. However, when we get beat up in public over these things, a generic “morals clause” isn’t very helpful. What I proposed would be moreso, because it would be crystal-clear.

    There may be a reason lawyers would not like my solution; I’m not a lawyer, I don’t know.

  28. @aandreassi – I have a lot of regard for the Cardinal you mention, but… maybe he’s in the wrong on that issue.

    Yes, I agree that the Catholic Church is in for a big persecution. It has been building for years and years, and I think the time is ripe for martial law and suspending the Constitution, before the elections of 2016. It “probably” won’t happen… But then you never know. http://authenticbioethics.blogspot.com/

  29. jaykay says:

    Aandreaasi: “If the Cardinal Archbishop of Vienna can allow a gay man in a committed relationship to be the head of a parish council, this fine woman should be allowed to continue to teach in a Catholic school.”

    Must frame that one as a fine example of a non-sequitur. But it’s a fun game to play, isn’t it? So, logically, if the ex-Archbishop of Milwaukee can make a payment of diocesan funds to his former homosexual lover as hush money, then why should other dioceses not do something similar?

    Or maybe you were being sarcastic?

  30. aandreassi says:
    25 April 2013 at 11:22 am
    If the Cardinal Archbishop of Vienna can allow a gay man in a committed relationship to be the head of a parish council, this fine woman should be allowed to continue to teach in a Catholic school.

    I don’t know if she’s a “fine woman” or not; I don’t even know if she should have been dismissed, as I am not privy to all the facts; but seriously, this is a very silly argument.

    I had leftover soup for lunch just now. Does that mean every priest in the world, from now on, must have leftover soup for lunch? Or just on Thursdays? How does this law of iron precedent work, exactly?

  31. The Masked Chicken says:

    “I had leftover soup for lunch just now. Does that mean every priest in the world, from now on, must have leftover soup for lunch? Or just on Thursdays?”

    Or just on the feast of St. Mark when it occurs in a Thursday after Lent during the fourth week and it has been raining and temperature is below 40* F on an incline with wind gusts. Yep. Every priest n the world.

    Some priests in China would love to have leftover soup.

    There…got those non-sequiturs out of my system.

    The Chicken

  32. capchoirgirl says:

    I’m a D. Columbus Catholic, and this story has me and many others appalled. The local paper has been covering it incessantly, with a definite “pro-teacher” angle. She is Methodist, and has said several things about how she hopes the church “changes” as a result of this.

    The facts are: her mother died, a student told her mother to pray for the teacher’s mother, the mother looked up the obit and saw that the teacher and her “partner” were listed in it. The parent wrote an anonymous letter to the school, and the teacher was dismissed. The principal of the school has been receiving threatening notes and has protection at her home.

    As far as “bragging” about it, there was recently a case in the Archdiocese of Cincinnati where a teacher said he supported gay rights/marriage on his blog, and was summarily fired from a Catholic school there. So there is precedent for this. The mayor of our city has even gotten involved, since the City of Columbus forbids discrimination against “sexual orientation”. Of course the point isn’t that she’s gay; it’s that she’s in a lesbian relationship.

    The MOST disheartening thing I have seen is the Watterson High School alumni, so many of whom stand up for this teacher full-throatedly in social media and in the local paper. The things I have learned from this are two fold:
    1) We MUST reform how we teach Catholic beliefs in schools. Every single student needs to know what we believe, and why we believe it. It is appalling to me to see so many of my friends, whom spent 9-12+ years in Catholic education, siding with the teacher and saying that the school is wrong here.
    2) The morals clause needs to be in bold, huge font on every. single. Catholic school contract from here on out. And I would be glad to help enforce it. When I went to school (Catholic school k-8) is was crystal clear who believed what the Church taught and who thought it was sort of “optional.”

  33. The Masked Chicken says:

    Methodist? Really? Is she nuts? You who, lady, this is the Catholic diocese. Who did you think you were working for?

    The Chicken

  34. capchoirgirl says:

    This is the latest story. The comments are particularly…illuminating. (sarcasm)
    http://www.dispatch.com/content/stories/local/2013/04/25/fired-teacher-tells-gay-kids-to-take-heart.html

  35. MichaelJ says:

    I may be way off base here, but I do not think aandreassi is suggesting that the teacher be re-hired. Instead, I interpreted these remarks as a lament that, barring Divine intervention, The Church will not survive as an institution unless Her Prelates begin speaking with a unified voice.

    Not to put too fine a point on it, but the Cardinal Archbishop of Vienna has torpedoed any efforts the Diocese of Columbus might take to uphold Catholic morality. The court can, and will, I suspect, point to the Cardinal’s action to show that there is no “Roman Catholic teaching on sexual morality”

  36. anilwang says:

    Ralph said “He has a point. Why do we allow people who openly flaunt the other teachings of the Church a pass?”

    Who says anyone else gets a pass in that diocese? The main reasons you don’t here about too many cases of lawsuits for adultery, divorce or birth control is that birth control (as long as it is not taught in class) can be hidden, and legal divorce is viewed as legal separation by the Church so it isn’t necessarily a mortal sin (e.g. in the case of a grave endangerment of the spouse or children). Divorce and remarriage and adultery *are* mortal sins but few people in these situations have the gall to sue for wrongful dismissal since they *know* the Church sees their behavior as sinful (even though they may disagree).

    That is the key difference between the homosexual “lifestyle” proponents and adherents to sinful lifestyles such as adultery and divorce and remarriage. In the former, the proponents are proud of their sin and demand full acceptance that black is white. In the later cases, the adherents either admit they are in sin but do it anyway or disagree and keep quiet about it. There are no “Adulterous and Remarried and Proud” parades. These later sinners don’t try to change black into white. At most, they want black to be gray but won’t generally force anyone else to accept it.

  37. Supertradmum says:

    Catholic schools should 1) not take any money from states or the national government; 2) should make all teachers take the oath and the promise http://www.ewtn.com/library/curia/cdfoath.htm; 3) hire only practicing Catholics; 4) have all Catholic boards of the same type of practicing Catholics;4) teach the State that it is the duty of the State to protect the Catholic Church.

  38. Jack Regan says:

    I’m about to go for my evening walk which is also my evening prayer time. I will add this to my list :)

  39. capchoirgirl says:

    Jack: THANK YOU. Gosh we need the prayers…
    Supertrad: I agree 100%.

  40. Atra Dicenda, Rubra Agenda says:

    “….the U.S. Supreme Court’s 9-0 decision in Hosanna-Tabor v. EEOC. The court recognized the “interest of religious groups in choosing who will preach their beliefs, teach their faith, and carry out their mission” when it ruled government entities could not use employment anti-discrimination laws to force religious groups to retain employees with a ministerial function…..The case could be relevant as Hale and all teachers employed by the diocese were required to have “Introductory Catechist Certification” by fall 2012″

    Each diocese should pay attention to this. The Supreme Court decided 9-0 that religious groups are allowed to choose “who will preach their beliefs, teach their faith, and carry out their mission” and consequently to fire individuals who are not doing this. Diocese and school administrations need to be sure employee contracts include language consonant with this Supreme Court ruling. Also, diocese should DEF begin requiring all employees, catechists, teachers, and even ancillary staff to publicly take the Oath of Fidelity, perhaps even in front of the student body for accountability sake.

  41. MissOH says:

    Columbus is my home diocese (and I pray will be my diocese again one day). I have been keeping tabs on this story and am encouraging prayer of others in my area for the school and diocese. I will add Bishop Campbell to my prayers.
    The local paper and media have been predictable. I have also noted alumni comments that make it clear there are numbers of Watterson alumni who do not know/understand or support the church’s stand on SSA and redefining marriage.

  42. Brad says:

    Larry (second comment) re: talking to people who excruciatingly coyly just don’t see the Church’s problem with letting it all hang out (a.k.a. the pre-Incarnation pagan world’s motto of “if it feels good, do it” and “I won’t complain if you kill anyone as long as it’s not me”:

    Luke 10:13 and thus John 15:6

    I thank God for his Word, which sustains us and gives us hope to live according to what He knows is good for us. All evil and sin is a terrible marring of a man, who is a creature made in the image and likeness of God, something which the animals and even the angels cannot match on both counts of image and likeness. The demons endlessly provoke us into turning from God and leading the life of sin. I thank God for His saving help. Who else but you, O Lord? It is a hard road, as we all know ( google: “dream of St. John Bosco, vision of road to hell”), but our Blessed Lord traveled it first.

  43. anilwang says:

    Supertradmum absolutely, especially WRT the Oath of Fidelity. The Oath of Fidelity should also be a requirement on anyone for all catechists and lay people in positions of influence in Catholic institutions (e.g. hospitals).

    Unfortunately not accepting government money doesn’t necessarily save a Catholic School from federal regulations. In some countries, even home schoolers (if they are allowed to exist at all) are required to take courses on “gender identities” and “sexualized education” and “secular ethics from the point of view that all religions are wrong” and other contrary-to-nature courses (e.g. see the situation with Quebec private Catholic schools).

    The issue of government funding is also tricky. In countries where Catholic schools are constitutionally protected and funded, giving up having tax dollars be redirected from public schools to Catholic schools is problematic. Previous compromises would still remain, but the poor would no longer have access and parishes would have to get Catholics in the pews who are used to having their tax redirected to pay for both the tax (which is used to fund contrary-to-nature courses) and the parish school. If the diocese gives up all previous compromises and funding, the government may try to claim the Catholic school buildings are government property since its paid for by tax dollars and no longer under government supervision (I believe this is what happened in Ireland). In which case, Catholic schools would need to start again from scatch in the country and most Catholic children would be forced to public schools with their contrary-to-nature courses since there is simply too few schools to house them all and too little money to pay for them all. They would also lose their voice in government.

    It’s best not to get into this situation be begin with, but if a diocese is in this situation, it needs to slowly try to ween its way out without ceding anything to the government. I don’t think it can be done during the term of a single bishop.

  44. Ralph says:

    I am not expressing that the Bishop didn’t have the right to dismiss this teacher. Rather, I would say he has a duty to do so.

    What I am asking is – why do other sins get a pass and not this one? Why have other teachers not been dismissed for living openly in opposition to the teachings of the Church?

    Yes, I know no one can see another use contraception. But what about when a teacher dismisses the Church’s teaching on contraception or even expresses an opinion in favor of its use? Think this doesn’t happen – ask a recent parochial high school grad and I think you might be surprised. And let’s not forget the theology department at many a Catholic University!

    What about teachers who divorce and remarry? Isn’t that a public scandal? A teacher at my child’s school divorced, changed the name by which my children addressed her, and then remarried, again changing the way the children addressed her. Does that not cause confusion among the children? Does this not make it harder for a child to believe that marriage is permanent and forever?

    So long as you are not committing the sin of homosexual activity, you get a pass? You can keep on filling innocent children’s’ heads with lies and distortions? I know it’s not true, but it feels that way sometimes.

    I applaud what the Bishop is doing – trying to protect his flock. I support him 100%. But I can fully understand why some would view this as hypocrisy when there are other teachers embracing open sin who are not dealt with in the same manner. People think that all we care about is protecting ourselves from the “scary gay people” and are not concerned with other sin at all.

    If this is a rabbit hole, I apologize. I am a bit frustrated.

  45. Clinton R. says:

    Father Richard Simon (“Reverend Know-it-all”) has a good article about the teaching of the Church on homosexuality:

    http://rev-know-it-all.com/2013/2013—04-21.html

  46. capchoirgirl says:

    Ralph, I don’t think it’s a rabbit hole (Fr. Z might not agree with me, though! and this is his place, and all. :) ). I think it’s legitimate, and it’s something that needs to be addressed. I knew what teachers were “left” Catholics, and I knew what teachers had Gore bumper stickers on their car when I went to Mass on the weekends and saw them there. I knew several who were divorced and kept teaching.
    So I totally think that this goes back to ensuring that the morality clause is held as an actual standard: Don’t do anything to give/cause scandal, publicly. It definitely caused some scandal at my old school when a teacher divorced and remarried and didn’t take communion at All School and Class Masses. People talked about it quite a bit (which, OK, was probably wrong).
    I think the first step we’re taking is the obvious ones–the teacher who supports gay marriage on a blog, a teacher in Cincinnati who was unmarried and had twins–these things are clearly evident. Maybe eventually we will get into the “hidden” things. I certainly hope we do, because I have no patience for Catholic teachers who are not Catholic.

  47. SaintVitus says:

    Father, does this really matter? Does it matter that these type of things are allowed? So long as it doesn’t bother the Church, it doesn’t. When has the state forced the Church to marry non-Catholics for instance? In Spain this has been allowed for 8 years now, and it hasn’t affected the Church in any way, except maybe in membership drop, something that was already happening anyway, not to mention that there are still many sectors who remain very Catholic. Shouldn’t you worry about much more important issues, like the fact that your taxes go to the same state that produces the vast majority of violence in the world? Or that millions of people are dying of hunger and suffer and live unhappy lives, many of them Catholic too? Or that nuclear ploriferation threatens the entire planet? Or what about the fact that we should be protecting the whole of creation, like the biodiversity of the planet or the environment? You know, much more important things than minorities being allowed to marry.

  48. Bob B. says:

    This whole matter points out how little students and parents know of the Faith, or they are fishwrap-catholics. It’s also interesting that this person belongs to one of the few Catholic unions in the U.S. (around ten or so, all East of the Mississippi) – they should take a pass on this, but it’ll be interesting to see.
    We always hear of those who violate or ignore Church teachings in the press and how downtrodden they are, blah, blah, but what of the teachers who are let go by administrators who agree with the secular press and otherwise ignore and belittle Church teachings? It happens.

  49. BLB Oregon says:

    –”he declined to provide evidence of the diocese applying a double standard”–

    This is the sticking point, right here. If the plaintiff can show that the bishop is a one-man version of the Harper Valley PTA, then that will be a problem. If, OTOH, the bishop has chosen to look the other way with similarly open flaunting of Church teaching, then there will be difficulties. My guess is that while some schools may have neglected to report such cases, the bishop himself is unlikely to have dealt with the cases that came to his attention any differently.

  50. Lucas Whittaker says:

    @ LarryW2LJ: You said: “The discussion always ends up with me being told that I’m paranoid and that, “No one’s going to force the Church to perform gay marriages”, and that all the LGBT movement wants is “tolerance and acceptance”.”

    Your statement strikes a cord with me. It seems that the LGBT movement, in their desire for acceptance, will force the hand of anyone who apparently disregards their alleged “rights”. And I agree with your sentiment about your friends being wrong on this. The Catholic Church will be forced at some point to perform gay marriage or otherwise suffer civil suits and financial loss because until that day comes the Church will be a continual annoyance to the LGBT community. The LGBT community will not rest until the Church suffers. While both the shape of the demands and their homosexual lifestyle are objectively aberrant there is sadly no basis for calling a spade a spade in the public square because the dictatorship of relativism is the autocrat of the day. Therefore, in the stead of justice and truth, we will see outcomes similar to what many of us heard as children playing in a sandbox: “You have to play nice with everybody.”

    I often feel like a Martian who is far from his true home planet. It is surreal to share in so many conversations in which the irrational juxtaposition of opinions trumps the True, the Good, and the Beautiful. I only wish that I were a Martian: Because I do in fact belong on planet Earth I can only sing a dirge for my fellow man until his eyes open to the light of reason. Lead, Kindly Light: The night is dark and we are far from home. Lead Thou us on!

  51. frjim4321 says:

    This will be an interesting case. I say “will” because I doubt that it will be over for a long time. It will churn through the courts for quite a while and probably at great expense to all parties. It would have been a great opportunity to look the other way as Catholic school administrators frequently do in these cases, particularly when it has to do with marriage after divorce. Oh, and yes, have we terminated any teachers for using birth control recently?

    I was very much struck by the mean-spiritedness of the parent how chose the death of the teachers mother as the occasion for having her ousted from the school. I think that parent dishonored her/himself very much.

    The death notice simply stated: “…Survived by her son, Charles (Alexis) Roe of Jamestown, KY; daughter, Carla (Julie) Hale of Powell; grandchildren, Chris Roe, Tiffany (Nate) Parsons, Josh, Jason and Courtney Hale…” and any further inferences are totally subjective, just as we could assume that most families with only one or only two children are probably using some form of birth control. But we don’t fire them from our church schools.

    A wise administrator would have looked the other way.

  52. FrJim:

    Depending on just what the circumstances might have been, I might agree with you. That is to say, if as you indicate, the relationship the teacher had was not public, then there is no need to go looking for it. But if it was, then an administrator has to deal with it.

    But I’m confused. Did the obit describe the teacher as having a same sex spouse, or partner, or what? Your citation doesn’t make that clear to me.

  53. acricketchirps says:

    No, Fr. Jim, it’s pretty clear from the obit that Alexis is son Charles’ spouse and Julie is daughter Carla’s “spouse”.

    Of course you can’t infer that parents with few children are using artificial birth control–that’s just idiotic. As to divorced teachers’ remarrying, I’m with you: fire them as well. But if you don’t, it still doesn’t make the worse wrong of publicly presenting a homosexual relationshipo as a marriage any less wrong.

    Finally as to the parent who told on her, my you’re awfully judgmental!

  54. mamajen says:

    @frjim4321

    I think the fact that she is a gym teacher might complicate things a bit more, for reasons I stated previously. That’s not to say that the woman was actually dangerous in any way, but as a parent I can understand the concern. I wouldn’t be so quick to demonize the parent who brought it up.

    I’m rather surprised by the obit–I expected that it must have read “wife” or “partner”. It’s still a public statement, but majorly scandalous? I’m not so sure. Obits written in that way always seemed silly and kind of confusing to me–when I first saw one like that I thought it was referring to nicknames or maiden names.

    @Fr Fox

    Here’s a link to the complete obit: http://www.legacy.com/obituaries/dispatch/obituary.aspx?pid=163314539 It doesn’t explicitly state anything, but people can make the inference based on the name in parenthesis, I guess.

  55. mamajen says:

    One thing that is clear to me is that the Church made her bed long ago, and now we have to lie in it. This school hired a Methodist almost 20 years ago. She and her partner have been together 15 years. Now, suddenly, it’s a problem, and she has lost her livelihood because of it. Same goes for that art teacher we were discussing a few weeks ago (though, thankfully, she was more gracious about her exit).

    It’s not surprising that these incidents create a stir. We had people asleep at the wheel, or something, and as a result things are going to be very ugly for a while. We kind of deserve it. The Church’s teachings have not changed, homosexuality and other sins are not new, so why did it take so long for these morality clauses to be enacted and enforced? By waiting until gay activism became a major thing, we have made it seem like these policies are reactionary instead of representing a truth thousands of years old. It’s all very unfortunate.

  56. NBW says:

    I agree with Mamajen. The policies should have been enforced. If Hale signed a morals clause that states Catholic beliefs, well then she is not telling the truth. Also if she led the Diocese to believe she was Catholic; that is also deceptive.

  57. Father P says:

    Wise administration is often a balancing act and often a little patience. When I was named pastor of a parish with a school I asked a seasoned pastor what advice he would give and one thing he said was — remember that every violation of the moral’s clause that comes to your attention must be handled IMMEDIATELY and EVENTUALLY result in termination of the contact — BUT REMEMBER — the moral clause includes ALL 10 commandments not just the 6th — and if you aren’t calling the D.A. then any change can wait ’til June and some to the end of the term of the contract. That advice came in handy when a similar to the above situation arose. A parent wrote me one February about a teacher’s (heterosexual) living situation, we talked, I explained that we would not be able to renew the contract in June, that nothing public would be said until the end of the year when we would merely annouce that the position was open and because of her excellent teaching record there would be no problem in us writing letters of recommendation. The Bishop/Diocese was happy, the lawyers had nothing to do, the teacher had a job offer from a public school by the end of the school year and I hear is currently a teacher in another Catholic school (subsequently got married to the live-in), the parish was relatively quiet, I was able to sleep at night and focus on other things for 4 months. The only person who was unhappy was the parent who raised the issue in the first place.

  58. capchoirgirl says:

    OK, I don’t know how obits are in the rest of the country, but all the ones I’ve ever seen list spouses in parentheses after the child’s name. That’s the only thing that goes there–not boyfriends, not nieces and nephews, not anything else, at least in every obit I’ve ever seen in 31 years of life. (And since you pay per line, you’re going to brief with your words) And honestly, if I was a parent, paying good money for my child to be educated at a Catholic school, I would’ve been appalled, too. As my mom used to say when she saw politically liberal teachers at our school: “I can get (annoyed) for free…I’m not going to pay money for it!”
    Yes, we have been “ignoring” it, but I think the time has come to stop it. AS I previously stated, the D. of Cincinnati has been much better about this than we have a few hours north.
    And from today’s article:
    In a statement yesterday, the diocese said that personnel matters are confidential and declined to discuss Hale’s grievance. Catholic school employees, when hired, agree to abide by diocesan rules, regulations and policies, “including respecting the moral values advanced by the teachings of Christ,” the statement said.
    She knew how the Church felt about this, and was warned about it, in her contract. Let’s not pretend ignorance, here.

  59. Atra Dicenda, Rubra Agenda says:

    In a nearby town, a protestant female teacher employed by one of the Catholic grade schools had a lesbian affair with a 4th grade student’s married mother; this subsequently became public and led to the family rather publicly and painfully breaking apart. If you can believe it, the protestant female teacher actually kept her job. Apparently the school administration was paralyzed by fear of this sort of retaliatory lawsuit. :(

    My wife, many years ago when she was in Catholic grade school, had a protestant substitute teacher and the students would repeatedly ask questions about how he wasn’t Catholic (in their grade school world, everyone they knew was Catholic). The protestant substitute complained to the prinicipal about their intrusive questioning and the students were reprimanded as a group and essentially advised that discussing religion was off limits in the Catholic school system. Young Catholic school children advised to compartmentalize their religion and religious discussions from the rest of their education. What a lesson. I had a similar experience with a protestant Math teacher in my own grade school.

    So many bodies left in the wake of inconsistent efforts at compromise and ecumenism and “wise administration.”

  60. The Masked Chicken says:

    What the heck? What the heck? No one could in any moral manner of which I am aware derive anything other than a mild suspicion that this woman were in a homosexual relationship from this obituary. I read the entire thing (who reads obituaries in this much detail??) and it is NOT clear by any means what the relationship is between Carla Hale and Courtney Hale, given that one is listed in a clause relating to grandchildren and the other is not. Perhaps, I am not seeing it, but I do document analysis professionally and I’m not seeing it. I can think of several other possibilities that would create the same name list.

    Those who proceed on suspicion of sin without further proof, according to St. Thomas, sin mortally. If the person called the diocese on this flimsy a suspicion, then they have sinned, in my opinion, mortally. Did the person have other information we don’t know about? Did they have an ax to grind and used this as an excuse to destroy the teacher? I am at a loss to know why the diocese simply didn’t tell this person to call back when they have some substantial information and not mere poor reading skills.

    I have got to believe that there is more to this story than being reported.

    All that being said, why is this diocese hiring non-Catholics when there are so many Catholic teachers who can’t find jobs? They set themselves up for exactly this sort of thing. This is one of the poisons of false ecumenism. It used to be that such a thing could never happen, but the lack of religious sisters and a misunderstanding of exactly what the Churches teaches on ecumenism has allowed most diocese to rationalize this silly practice. Hiring non-Catholic teachers for a Catholic high school was NOT one of the shared activities visualized in the document on Ecumenism from Vatican II.

    Oy!

    Well, they have no choice, now, but to fight the law suit and they will probably win, but they had better think long and hard about exactly what the term, “Catholic education,” really means. Clearly, the alumni have not learned what it means from their time at the high school. I would bet you that this is a, “jock school,” more interested in winning football games than teaching morality. I would, further bet, that the religion teachers would flunk a basic test on Catholic principles. This is a CINO high school, I suspect. No wonder the parents, who haven’t got a clue, are supporting this person’s lifestyle. I am embarrassed for Columbus that it has such a school doing this. I don’t doubt that there are many similar schools across the country.

    Forget trying to evangelize the public. Holy Father, we are so far from this that it isn’t even a time to bring it up. Supposedly Catholic parents can’t even teach their supposedly Catholic children what it means to be Catholic. How the heck can they tell the rest of the world. Forget it, just forget it. This whole situation makes me sick.

    I don’t think we will ever know the whole story of what happened. I don’t want to be guilty of treating mere suspicion as fact in this combox, so all I can say is none of this makes any sense to me the way it has been presented. Can anyone help me to understand how this all developed? On the face of it, it seems like someone jumped to a conclusion that merely happened to be correct and destroyed a person’s good name. People are entitled to a good reputation unless there is strong evidence to the contrary. An obituary of the type written is not strong evidence. I cannot see how this is anything other than detraction, but, then I haven’t been following this story and can only comment on what I have read, here. Was there any other evidence prior to the call to the chancery?

    The Chicken

  61. robtbrown says:

    frjim4321 says:

    This will be an interesting case. I say “will” because I doubt that it will be over for a long time. It will churn through the courts for quite a while and probably at great expense to all parties. It would have been a great opportunity to look the other way as Catholic school administrators frequently do in these cases, particularly when it has to do with marriage after divorce. Oh, and yes, have we terminated any teachers for using birth control recently?

    And how would it be known that any teacher is contracepting? I have, BTW, seen teachers in Catholic schools fired who were co-habiting.

    I was very much struck by the mean-spiritedness of the parent how chose the death of the teachers mother as the occasion for having her ousted from the school. I think that parent dishonored her/himself very much.

    Almost as mean-spirited as your comments about Mother Angelica.

    A wise administrator would have looked the other way.

    Isn’t that why you, justly IMHO, object to Cardinal Law?

  62. frjim4321 says:

    “Almost as mean-spirited as your comments about Mother Angelica.”

    I don’t think my comment to which you refer caused anyone to loose their livelihood. And I stand by my criticisms.

    “Isn’t that why you, justly IMHO, object to Cardinal Law?”

    Even parents sometimes need to know when to look the other way and pick their battles carefully. Everything can’t be a cause celebre. I think it’s quite different to throw someone out on the street after many years of service than to enable child rape. Actually, equating a committed, cohabitating same-sex couple with child rape is rather chilling for me.

  63. Maltese says:

    This battle cannot be won; I’m becoming a full-time Alaskan fisherman; no joke, even though I have a law degree! I need to get away from the demagogues and pricks in D.C., and pull-up some King Crabs with men who have balls for a while!

  64. Pingback: Logos and Muse: In Defense of Bishop Campbell

  65. frjim4321 says:

    “I’m rather surprised by the obit–I expected that it must have read ‘wife’ or ‘partner’. ”

    Exactly. This was not a person who was advertizing or looking for affirmation.

    My guess is there is a line-up of employment attorneys hoping to help her with this.

  66. peggyo says:

    Father, I am confused about why no one ever talks about the sin of giving scandal anymore. Is giving scandal still a sin? Is there a more modern term for it now and I just don’t realize that’s what people are talking about? It seems the closest anyone gets to it now is talking about “normalizing deviance.”

    The discussions and explanations where Catholics are trying to defend the Church’s position on “gay marriage” and other social issues come across as incoherent to most people and I think it is because there is no mention of the sin of giving scandal.

    Why do we not preface these discussions with Matthew 18:6 “If anyone causes one of these little ones—those who believe in me—to stumble, it would be better for them to have a large millstone hung around their neck and to be drowned in the depths of the sea.

    People nowadays think scandal means when a celebrity gets caught being naughty. We need to show the Bible verse and explain what giving scandal is and why it is such a serious sin.

    When we object to “gay marriage” etc people say: “Yes, we get it that your religion forbids this but your religion forbids lots of things that people do all the time! Why are Catholics picking on homosexuals who just want to be open about their lifestyle?” That is why Tootle said: “There are many things that the Catholic Church considers immoral, but why is this treated any differently than adultery, divorce or birth control?”

    People accuse us of hypocrisy because we come down so hard on public sexual sins like living the gay lifestyle and “gay marriage” but we seem to be soft on private sins like birth control. We need to educate people that these public sins involve the additional and extremely serious sin of giving scandal.

    In the Columbus case, it is clear to us that adultery, divorce and birth control are usually private sins but that the gay lifestyle is public and involves giving scandal. But this distinction and the whole idea of the sin of giving scandal is a mystery to non-Catholics. Why doesn’t anyone explain this?

    I don’t understand why the phrase “giving scandal” is not in every single discussion of gay marriage! Why is nobody talking about this?

  67. Atra Dicenda, Rubra Agenda says:

    If by “a committed, cohabitating same sex couple” you mean “obstinate fornicating sodomites” then the comparison becomes quite less chilling. God has destroyed cities for less.

  68. capchoirgirl says:

    Chicken: The funeral was in February, and it’s April. This started last week. So I am guessing–and that’s it, guessing–that the principal received the letter and then contacted the teacher and asked her, directly.
    Watterson isn’t really a “jock” school that would be St. Francis DeSales, which has won many state football championships. Watterson does try to be one, however.

  69. The Masked Chicken says:

    Regarding sins against the sixth commandment in the order of correct male/female relationships, this is a bit tricky. The stupid Supreme Court somehow made contraception a purely private issue, when it actually is not. What is merely legal is not always actually properly true. Unfortunately, many people, including some Catholics, I suspect, treat Supreme Court decisions as if they were infallible magisterial pronouncements. They aren’t. The Court blew it. Period. That being said, it has clouded the issue in many people’s minds as to the correct Catholic response to issues of adultery, divorce, contraception, in-vitro fertilization, etc.

    This is a job for the pastors to speak about, over and over, again, until everyone is either on the same page or has left the Church. Anyone who has doubts about the morality of adultery or co-habitation, or fornication, or contraception (with the obvious exceptions), should be told correctly, with persuasive arguments, exactly what Catholic teaching is. Say what you will, but the old manuals did a good job of this.

    Sadly, I think this is all too late. I do not see any way to revive the Church in the United States, short of two generations.

    The Chicken

  70. capchoirgirl says:

    But they don’t leave, Chicken. They think, like this teacher thinks, that they can “change” things and things will “evolve.”

  71. Suburbanbanshee says:

    Masked Chicken — the phrase in question was “Carla (Julie) Hale”, which in obituar-ese is to be read as “Carla Hale and her spouse Julie”. Now, personally I would have assumed that “Julie” was a misprint or old-fashioned nickname for “Jules”, but probably again, this situation wasn’t a secret to everybody and the parents were so informed fairly quickly. Possibly by their own kids.

    As always, there’s probably more to it; but it’s not a secret to anybody that obituaries are public documents, or that schoolteachers are public personages. My parents were teachers, and always had to be concerned about the image and substance of their lives, and of their kids’ and relatives’ lives. Heck, I remember worrying about whether some shenanigan of mine would get my parents in trouble! So if the woman didn’t want to get caught, the easiest thing was not to do anything against her contract in the first place; and if she thinks the Church teaches morals untruthfully, she didn’t have to work there at all.

  72. The Masked Chicken says:

    Thanks for the information, capchoirgirl. I, still, think that Bishop Watterson High School must be doing a poor job of religious instruction.

    As for those in the Church who think it will, “change,” they need a Marine Corps wake-up call. Obviously, they are ignorant of history (isn’t that a high school subject?) or do they recall how the Church, “changed,” to accommodate those lovely Arians or how it, “changed,” when those Nestorians made their teeny, tiny, little suggestion, or how the Church, “changed,” when the Burgundians wanted just that little parcel of land to the south (for the wine, you see)? They have been lulled into thinking there is a United States of Catholicism.

    “There are many things that the Catholic Church considers immoral, but why is this treated any differently than adultery, divorce or birth control?”

    Because, as Aquinas points out, adultery, etc., are at least in the proper genus for sexual relations. Homosexuality is a sin, not only against, the sixth commandment, but the very definition of personhood, ultimately, since it denies the Natural Law. It is not a sin within male-female relationships; it is a sin about the very nature of what it means to be male and female.

    The Chicken

  73. frjim4321 says:

    NOTE: I am not wishing financial hardship upon the diocese. Hopefully it will be resolve in some other way. That being said, it is an injustice to take away a person’s livelihood like this. I will hope for a wise resolution to this matter.

  74. capchoirgirl says:

    Chicken, oh, they’re doing a horrible job. That much is crystal, crystal clear. I hope our bishop takes from this that we need a serious crackdown on how and what our students are being taught.
    For the height of irony–we just got our Bishop’s Annual Appeal mailings this week.

  75. mamajen says:

    FWIW, here is the “morality clause” from the Diocese of Columbus Employee Policy Manual:

    507 Conduct and Activities Outside Employment

    Employees are expected to be examples of moral behavior and professionalism.

    I. No employee shall be engaged in employment or activities that would reflect adversely
    upon the Church or Diocese or that would interfere with the working schedule of the
    agency or office or the employee’s responsibility to perform his or her work for the
    Diocese.
    II. Employees may be suspended or discharged from employment for violations of these
    standards.
    III. An employee has the right to appeal such corrective actions through the established Fair
    Treatment Policy process, Section 103, Page 12

    Also, this:


    605 Conflict of Interest

    All employees shall avoid activities and situations which actually, potentially, apparently or are
    perceived to conflict with the Diocese’s interests or interfere with the Diocese’s duty to serve the
    Roman Catholic Church’s teachings and missions (“Conflict” or “Conflicts”). Employees are to
    perform their duties in good faith and in a manner reasonably believed to be in the best interest
    of the Diocese and with such care, including reasonable inquiry, skill and diligence, as a person
    of ordinary prudence would use under similar circumstances.

    I. Definitions
    a. Financial Interest: An employee has a “financial interest” if that person has directly
    or indirectly, through business, investment, or family (including spouses; brothers or
    sisters; spouses of brothers or sisters; ancestors; children; grandchildren and great
    grandchildren; spouses of children, grandchildren and great grandchildren) any one of
    the following:

    1. An ownership or investment interest in any entity with which the Diocese
    has a transaction or arrangement;
    2. A compensation arrangement with the Diocese, other than compensation
    earned as salary or wages for normal employment, or any entity or
    individual with whom the Diocese has a transaction or arrangement; or
    3. A potential ownership or investment interest with, or compensation
    arrangement with, any entity or individual with whom the Diocese is
    negotiating a transaction or arrangement.
    b. Compensation:Compensation includes direct and indirect remuneration, as well as
    gifts or favors that are substantial in nature

    II. Types of Conflicts.

    A conflict can include, but is not limited to, the following:

    a. Having a direct or indirect financial interest or a close personal interest through family
    or otherwise in a company, service, transaction, property, or product that could be
    affected (in a positive or negative manner) by decision which the employee makes;
    b. Serving as a partner, member, shareholder, director, officer, or trustee of another entity
    that has a direct or indirect interest in a transaction with the Diocese;
    c. Revealing or misusing confidential information;
    d. Accepting or offering substantial gifts, excessive entertainment, favors or payments
    which may reasonably be construed to constitute undue or otherwise improper
    influence;
    e. Breaching any fiduciary duty owed to the Diocese;
    f. Participating in any private inurement transactions, which include transactions where
    the Diocesan resources are transferred to an individual solely by virtue of the
    individual’s relationship with the Diocese and without regard to accomplishing the
    purpose of the Diocese;
    g. Exploiting opportunities for personal and private benefit that could otherwise benefit
    the Diocese;
    h. Taking direct action on behalf of the Diocese that may result in a material personal or
    private benefit or that may result in material adverse impact to a personal or private
    competitor;
    i. Publicly engaging in behavior or making statements which are inconsistent and/or
    potentially embarrassing to the teaching and mission of the Catholic Church;

    j. Utilizing Diocesan facilities and materials for the employee’s own personal gain; and
    k. Engaging in outside employment as prohibited herein.

    http://www.colsdioc.org/Portals/0/Departments/PER/Documents/Employee%20Policy%20Manual%201-01-13.pdf

    Personally, I think it’s not specific enough. But, the diocese can show that A) she was not living in accordance with Church teaching, and B) her lifestyle could negatively impact the diocese if parents stop sending their kids to the school as a result. Whether the public aspect is satisfied by that obituary is another thing altogether.

  76. mamajen says:

    Crud. I forgot to close the em tag. Sorry!

  77. The Masked Chicken says:

    “Masked Chicken — the phrase in question was “Carla (Julie) Hale”, which in obituar-ese is to be read as “Carla Hale and her spouse Julie”. Now, personally I would have assumed that “Julie” was a misprint or old-fashioned nickname for “Jules”, but probably again, this situation wasn’t a secret to everybody and the parents were so informed fairly quickly. Possibly by their own kids.”

    Except that simple charity demands that one consider, first of all, that the newspaper might have screwed up and misunderstood what was communicated to them, rather than that an immoral situation existed. It would have been the responsibility of the writer of the obituary to correct it, if they had wanted to spend the money.

    St. Thomas was in the same situation, once, and his response shows what true charity is:

    “Inflexible as he was in the defense of truth, his students were often astonished that he would bear personal attacks so placidly. A considerable magnanimity enabled him to regard many things as trifles. Of keen sensibilities, his nature would have inclined him to irony; he conquered this by meekness. He never meddled in the affairs of others, hated rash judgment, and preferred to appear naive rather than readily believe evil — the perfection of the speculative intellect, we know, being unharmed by an error in a contingent matter. [My emphasis] One day a Friar in a jovial mood cries out: “Friar Thomas, come see the flying ox!” Friar Thomas goes over to the window. The other laughs. “It is better,” the Saint says to him, “to believe that an ox can fly than to think that a religious can lie.”

    I repeat, it was better for the reader to assume an honest mistake had occurred than to stick their nose in where it did not belong. In my opinion, they sinned and sinned badly by rash judgment. I have, sadly, had to deal with many obituaries in my day, and if I do not know about this obituary-ese, then neither would most people, I suspect. I have never seen a married couple referred to in this way. I have always seen them listed as Joe and Mary Marriedperson. I am sorry, but, the person either uncharitably jumped to a conclusion and stuck their nose in where it did not belong, thus ruining a person’s reputation (whether or not the allegation eventually proved to be true is not the point) or they had other information not presented in the newspaper. Again, the correct, Catholic response, would have been to tell the person who called the chancery or high school to mind their own business if this is the only evidence they are acting on. Apparently, rashly judging is the new norm.

    I do not condone by any means what the gym instructor was doing, but I cannot, at the same time, condone how she was outed. This is not even a fine line in my mind. There are many things I can infer by reading between the lines about people in the newspaper, but discretion, charity, and the right of a person to a good name, prevents me from making rash judgments and starting things in motion that are not mine to start.

    Sadly, the gym teacher, having taught for twenty years, was probably heading towards retirement and would have been out of the system sooner rather than later. Now, she has become a cause celebre just because one obituary reader decided not to exercise prudence.

    The Chicken

  78. I think Father P gave very good advice above.

  79. capchoirgirl says:

    Chicken: but when asked, the teacher would have corrected that wrong, yes? “Oh, no it’s a misprint, stupid paper!”
    I don’t think the letter was the sole reason she was fired. I think the letter led the principal and/or others to investigate, and discovered that, yes, the teacher is in a lesbian relationship, which does clearly violate Catholic Church teaching. To me this is sort of a no-brainer. Whether or not the letter should have been written is another subject. The fact is it was, the school dealt with it, and this is the result.

  80. mamajen says:

    @capchoirgirl

    The wording in the handbook indicates that it is not simply the violation of Catholic Church teaching that matters, but the public aspect of it (and the potential harm to the diocese that could result). Therefore, the parent’s letter exposing the public obituary is key. I presume that she managed to keep her job for nearly 20 years (including under this bishop since 2005) because she kept her relationship private and there was no harm to the diocese. I’m not sure that, based on the diocese’s own policy, they would have had grounds to fire her had the obituary not been discovered.

  81. capchoirgirl says:

    ok, but it was discovered. So why are we focusing on the fact that it was discovered? This wasn’t like it was in her private diary. Suddenly the relationship is quite public.
    Yes, the parent letter is the catalyst. But I’m confused about what the problem is, here. Parents write letters and make phone calls about all sorts of things, every single day. I highly doubt it was, Oh, OK, this letter was written, you’re fired. If that’s how it worked we’d have no teachers, at all.

  82. MarcAnthony says:

    Hmmmm, I don’t know. If the only way somebody was able to find this out was by reading the obituaries its not as if she was causing scandal-in fact, it seems as if she did an excellent job keeping things quiet.

    I’m not so sure about this.

  83. EXCHIEF says:

    Way back in the 1930′s the Communist Party, being the earthly army of the evil one, set out a long range plan to dominate the entire planet. They recognized two formidable adversaries. One was the Holy Roman Catholic Church and the other was the United States of America. Their “gameplan” was multi-facited but a major component was to infiltrate both the Catholic Church and the USA with homosexuals and to push the homosexual agenda as a means of destroying the credibility of both entities, destroying the family, and destroying Christianity as a whole. It may well be that knowing in advance of this gameplan that Our Lady of Fatima warned us of the threat Communism posed.

    It appears that the Communist gameplan has succeeded. The eventual result may well be described in the last secret of Fatima.

  84. MarcAnthony says:

    Actually, I think Masked Chicken nailed it, pretty much.

  85. Kathleen10 says:

    It is 9:50, and this activist is tired. I will read the comments tomorrow. But skimming through, one can easily note a hint of the etiology of what we now confront.
    Weak to no, purposeful, pointed, and direct teaching from the pulpit on marriage and family. The sheep have not been properly fed, and those sheep wandered off to fables, to mix metaphors.
    That has been the problem all along, a silly, gullible, populace, who now can’t pay attention long enough to take in adequate information so as to reason themselves to what is right or wrong, a good idea, or fatal to a society. Accomplished, in good order, by men who have taken a vow, a vow we all respect, but which they do not respect, because they have turned away from Truth, and themselves, wandered off to fables. I have no doubt, with all sincerity they actually believe the lie they have absorbed. Their eyes are clouded, they no longer see good or evil. Everything is “grey”, and to judge on morality seems “petty” or “mean-spirited” to them. So, they lead the sheep down the hill and over the cliff, without ever knowing it. We follow them to our doom, our destruction. To them, this is hyperbole, exaggeration, come ON, take a deep breath, RELAX. But who relaxes when they are about to be torn to bits by the tiger! Who sees the bared fangs, hears the horrible roar, feels the hot breath on their face, and remains calm? Only an idiot.
    Gullible, silly, uneducated and unfathoming fools we have become. Not here at this blog, surely, but, the populace. They have bought it all. Now Rhode Island has fallen victim. All Republican politicians involved, voted for same-sex marriage. This despite the incredible protest by many in the state, I’m proud to say, Bishop Tobin and the Catholic Church. But, we needed, NEEDED, teaching and preaching ten and twenty YEARS ago, not two weeks ago! The sheep are not just unfed, they are fat, lazy, and stupid to boot.
    We are in serious trouble my dears. If you are further interested in this topic, I urge you to check out MassResistance. Brian Camenker, surely one of the most sturdy and capable of men, has provided an excellent (as usual) analysis of what has gone wrong, and what we NEED to do to make it right. He thinks we still can, but it is up to us. It is really and truly up to us. Prayer AND action. It’s what we’ve got.
    One last thing. The National Organization for Marriage has a few photos that are not to be missed. An archbishop, Andre (and I can’t recall his last name and am too tired to look it up) was in Brussels giving a talk. Activists from the feminazi group FEMEN “crashed a gate” (??), took bottles (in the shape of our Blessed Mother) and doused the Archbishop completely, with water. The women were so shameless, so out of touch with their dignity as women, they accosted the Archbishop topless, with blasphemy written across their chests. The Archbishop “prayed though the incident” and kissed the figure of the Madonna. It is quite an image, disturbing, yet, profound, good meets evil, demons unleashed.
    God help us. We must protect our clergy, weak though they have been, we must stay with them, never abandon them. We cannot be like the poor disciples. Wait no longer. That time is now.

  86. Scarltherr says:

    She was a gym teacher with access to the girls’ locker room while they were changing. That is a position which would not be allowed to any straight man because of the appearance of impropriety. Her employment was a clear violation of safe-environment practices, which every parent who volunteers in a Catholic school these days must learn and follow.

    These laws are in place everywhere and will be tested everywhere. Pray hard and lawyer-up.

  87. frjim4321 says:

    Scarltherr is entirely wrong.

    (1) “Access to Girl’s Locker Room.” Do we know the rules on adult access to locker rooms at that school or any Catholic school for that matter? In the Catholic high schools around here often the girls change quickly and may not even have a chance to shower. Hardly an erotic environment.
    (2) What kind of “safe-environment” are they teach where you are? I’m a trained Virtus facilitator. There is NOTHING about gay or lesbian teachers, instructors or coaches being excluded.

    Your comment sounds like more scapegoating gays/lesbians for child abuse than anything else, which is entirely bogus and not supported by either the Virtus or Preasidium syllabi, not to mention John Jay I and John Jay II.

  88. nykash says:

    God help us. We must protect our clergy, weak though they have been, we must stay with them, never abandon them. We cannot be like the poor disciples. Wait no longer. That time is now.

    Indeed! Along with spiritual aid, those capable should also be ready to offer financial assistance… lawsuits can get expensive (not to mention criminal defense cases). Of course, we’ll all end up on a SPLC ‘watch list’ or worse…

  89. Stephen Matthew says:

    The Masked Chicken:

    May I suggest that there could yet be an explanation for this that does not involve someone sinning gravely in taking these actions? Could it in fact be that everyone involved is acting with good will, if perhaps poorly formed? Would it not be prudent to extend to the unknown parent the same benefit of the doubt you suggest should have been extended to the gym teacher?

    We simply do no know all the facts. It may be this was a malicious and unfounded accusation that turned out to be true. Or it may be this was public confirmation of an “secret” that everyone knew but no one had open proof of… we just don’t know, so we should perhaps be reserved.

    We must even assume the gym teacher may have been acting in good faith for the last 19 years.

    Sometimes we, individually as humans, very badly mislead ourselves about the morality of our own actions and how “good” or “bad” we may be. We, as Catholics, do a poor job institutionally of being 100% clear about what we believe and what we expect of people, often downplaying our teachings or beliefs to avoid discomfort or offense. It may be this case is the unfortunate and messy outcome of those factors colliding.

    Or something?

    I do wonder if it would not have been possible, within the bounds of prudence, to let her finish the term? Perhaps not?

  90. Pingback: In The Not Too Distant Future - BIG PULPIT

  91. av8er says:

    Could the diocese in Columbus counter sue the city for unconstitutionality of their anti-discrimination law?

  92. av8er says:

    Kathleen10 i agree.

  93. Cathy says:

    Weird, regarding the obituary, I’ve even seen obituaries with same-sex partners listed in my own Diocese’s paper. I’ve seen “marriage?” congratulations listed in my Catholic high school alumni paper for people I know who were divorced – married in the Catholic Church, no annulment, then “married” to another in a civil ceremony. What used to be scandalous is oddly publicized without anyone batting an eye.

    frjim4321, when one becomes a bishop, I don’t think they are given JJI or JJII studies, or the Dallas Charter, or the VIRTUS program as their guide for the administration of their diocese. It is simply not a requirement. Frankly, I would have the utmost respect for the bishop who studies them with interest and great prayer, and then says, no thank you, even if such programs have, with precedent, become prevalent in the diocese. The bishop is the father of his diocese, not the unions, not the newspapers, not fellow teachers and not the students. Ultimately, the only one whose judgement matters to him should be Jesus Christ. His responsibility is that the Catholic faith is transmitted faithfully and that every Catholic institution in his diocese, is operating in such a manner that it can be confidently called Catholic.
    We do not know if Ms. Hale’s sexual relationship was secret within the confines of the school. What is clear, is that when she made it public in her mother’s obituary, the situation had to be addressed. Regardless of whether or not Ms. Hale had an attraction to her students, or if she were a math teacher as opposed to a physical education instructor, when Bishop Frederick Campbell became aware of the situation, he had a direct responsibility to address the situation, and he did so appropriately. If the bishop is stripped of both his right and obligation to address such a moral scandal appropriately, then Catholic parents no longer may be given any illusion that the morality of their children is worth squat in a Catholic school and you may well just close every Catholic school down.

  94. Imrahil says:

    Dear @Chicken, while I do not disagree… for all my veneration of St. Thomas (and this is no phrase nor merely along the line of “he’s a Saint of the Church, of course I venerate hime) in this incident, if it is truly reported, he was either overly moralistic, or – and methinks somewhat this is more probable – joking himself. (In which case he certainly won the battle.) The only sin I could see in the other friar ways slight mockery, which St. Thomas himself found no need of complaining about. But a lie there was not, not even a jocose one, because the statement obviously was meant not as a thing to be believed (which is true even of the jocose lie).

    Dear @Stepehn Matthew, I do not see where the Chicken said anything about sin either subjective or grave (or both). It did complain about the bad results of objective lack of prudence.

  95. Imrahil says:

    Dear @Chicken,

    no offense intended… I just now remember you have before referred to yourself as “he”. So when I now wrote “it”, you can count that as a Germanism.

  96. frjim4321 says:

    A wise pastor told me once “never read an anonymous letter, destroy it immediately.”

    Very wise advice which would have avoided prompting this bishop’s action.

    Good grief this is already costing: a police guard for the rest of the school year. Gag orders on students, faculty and staff.

    The teacher has praised the school… This is all on the bishop.

  97. Atra Dicenda, Rubra Agenda says:

    @frjijm4321: I think it is a bit naive to completely ignore the reality of the lesbian gym teacher stereotype, not that it is fair to universally presume such things. But it is burying one’s head in the sand to ignore the possible motivations behind why lesbians so often become gym teachers or volleyball/softball/basketball coaches. It places them in close proximity to attractive scantily clad young women. Just like it is burying one’s head in the sand ignore the possible motivations behind why so many homosexuals entered the priesthood or why so many homosexual priests progressed from adult homosexual relationships in the seminary to homosexual ephebophilic & hebophilic relationships with teenage boys (and yes, the JJ Report admits that active homosexuality IN THE SEMINARY was significantly correlated with the later abuse of male victims). And while the official analysis of the JJ Report denies the link between homosexuality and sexual abuse, 3/4 of the cases involved an adult male priest abusing a 12-17yr old boy. Just because the priest does not self-identify as a homosexual does NOT alter the fact that he sodomized a boy which is essentially a homosexual act. It is the nature of the act that makes it homosexual, not the self-identification or self-denial of the priest commiting the act.

  98. robtbrown says:

    frjim4321 says:

    “Almost as mean-spirited as your comments about Mother Angelica.”

    I don’t think my comment to which you refer caused anyone to loose their livelihood. And I stand by my criticisms.

    Teachers change jobs all the time, and the Catholic schools are well known for not paying top dollar The public schools would be more than welcoming for a lesbian gym teacher.

    Even parents sometimes need to know when to look the other way and pick their battles carefully. Everything can’t be a cause celebre. I think it’s quite different to throw someone out on the street after many years of service

    My guess is that looking the other way was already the MO of the administration, but once her situation was made public, the parameters changed. And I wouldn’t be surprised that after parents spoke to their hs aged children about the gym teacher, at least 50% of the responses were “everyone knew that anyway.”

    If this woman knew that her situation was out of sync with the conditions of her contract, then she would have known that sooner or later she would be terminated.

    than to enable child rape.

    I don’t think Cardinal Law or the other bishops thought they were facilitating child rape. They were flabby careerist bureaucrats trying to smooth over a bad situation.

    Actually, equating a committed, cohabitating same-sex couple with child rape is rather chilling for me.

    Maybe I haven’t yet had enough coffee, but I am puzzled how you were able to come up with that comment.

    1. Your paragraph which triggered my comment had nothing to do with child rape. It referred to contraception.

    2. My point was that just as the gym teacher was canned for co-habiting outside of marriage so also was a heterosexual teacher.

  99. The Masked Chicken says:

    ” Could it in fact be that everyone involved is acting with good will, if perhaps poorly formed?”

    Dear Stephen Matthew,

    I totally agree that everyone thought they were acting in the best interest of all involved, but it is a sad fact that today’s culture is a culture of public outing. “If you, Oh Lord, laid bare our guilt, who, Lord, could stand?” The simple fact is that the person who wrote the letter was a busybody. It was not their right to get involved. This would have been totally different if they had, say, walked in on the teacher molesting a student or been at a party where the’ “couple,” had been kissing and holding hands. That was not the case. Simply put, the letter writer jumped to conclusions on purely circumstantial evidence, without any corroboration, and sent a letter to the principal. This parent was poorly formed. I wonder if she or he has ever even heard of the terms, “detraction,” or, “rash judgment?” In a just world, it should be they who are sued, not the diocese. Once publicly known, the diocese had no choice but to act. The person who sinned was the person who unnecessarily exposed a suspicion (not a proven fact) about the person.

    St. Thomas (ST II.II.60, 61), says:

    “I answer that, As Tully says (De Invent. Rhet. ii), suspicion denotes evil thinking based on slight indications, and this is due to three causes. First, from a man being evil in himself, and from this very fact, as though conscious of his own wickedness, he is prone to think evil of others, according to Ecclesiastes 10:3, “The fool when he walketh in the way, whereas he himself is a fool, esteemeth all men fools.” Secondly, this is due to a man being ill-disposed towards another: for when a man hates or despises another, or is angry with or envious of him, he is led by slight indications to think evil of him, because everyone easily believes what he desires. Thirdly, this is due to long experience: wherefore the Philosopher says (Rhet. ii, 13) that “old people are very suspicious, for they have often experienced the faults of others.” The first two causes of suspicion evidently connote perversity of the affections, while the third diminishes the nature of suspicion, in as much as experience leads to certainty which is contrary to the nature of suspicion. Consequently suspicion denotes a certain amount of vice, and the further it goes, the more vicious it is.

    Now there are three degrees of suspicion. The first degree is when a man begins to doubt of another’s goodness from slight indications. This is a venial and a light sin; for “it belongs to human temptation without which no man can go through this life,” according to a gloss on 1 Corinthians 4:5, “Judge not before the time.” The second degree is when a man, from slight indications, esteems another man’s wickedness as certain. This is a mortal sin, if it be about a grave matter, since it cannot be without contempt of one’s neighbor. Hence the same gloss goes on to say: “If then we cannot avoid suspicions, because we are human, we must nevertheless restrain our judgment, and refrain from forming a definite and fixed opinion.” The third degree is when a judge goes so far as to condemn a man on suspicion: this pertains directly to injustice, and consequently is a mortal sin.”

    Q61:

    “I answer that, As stated above (3, ad 2), things from the very fact that a man thinks ill of another without sufficient cause, he injures and despises him. Now no man ought to despise or in any way injure another man without urgent cause: and, consequently, unless we have evident indications of a person’s wickedness, we ought to deem him good, by interpreting for the best whatever is doubtful about him. ”

    The obituary was slight evidence, only. The letter writer failed to interpret for the best the contents of the obituary. Granted, they may have had some experience reading obituaries, but, as has already been pointed out, there are many ways the obituary could have been messed up, so, unless they had a great deal of experience seeing homosexual couples list themselves like this in obituaries, the suspicion is still only slight and this person acted from a lack of charity towards the gym teacher.

    I am sorry, but I think this is the correct interpretation of what happened in moral terms. There is a time to speak and a time to refrain from speaking. This was a time to refrain from speaking. See the enormous damage that can come from jumping to conclusions and acting on it?

    Sadly. I think no one will learn the real lesson from all of this. The Catholics United for the Faith tells the story:

    http://www.cuf.org/2010/09/the-art-of-living-the-feathers-of-gossip/

    “The story is often told of the most unusual penance St. Philip Neri assigned to a woman for her sin of spreading gossip. The sixteenth-century saint instructed her to take a feather pillow to the top of the church bell tower, rip it open, and let the wind blow all the feathers away. This probably was not the kind of penance this woman, or any of us, would have been used to!

    But the penance didn’t end there. Philip Neri gave her a second and more difficult task. He told her to come down from the bell tower and collect all the feathers that had been scattered throughout the town. The poor lady, of course, could not do it-and that was the point Philip Neri was trying to make in order to underscore the destructive nature of gossip. When we detract from others in our speech, our malicious words are scattered abroad and cannot be gathered back. They continue to dishonor and divide many days, months, and years after we speak them as they linger in people’s minds and pass from one tale-bearer to the next.”

    By all means, pray for the diocese of Columbus. They have been thrown in the deep waters, but all of this could have been avoided, had either the letter not been sent or the principal decided to handle the matter quietly, by helping the teacher to find a job in another school system (this is NOT equivalent to moving around a child molester, although I share mamajen’s concerns regarding having people with SSA be gym teachers).

    By all means, Catholic schools need to do a better job of both screening and informing their applicants regarding moral expectations, but, barring a real, substantial threat to the well-being of either students or faculty, one ought to consider what is the best way to handle things. Clearly, this is a mess and it was all started because someone took it upon themselves to do something without sufficient thought.

    I have been the victim of rash judgment on several occasions, both in my professional life and my everyday life. It is very hard to have compassion on the people who started things who couldn’t mind their own business.

    Once, when I had just moved into a townhouse complex (the very next day), I had to go outside to try to tape the basement window shut because the handle was broken. I was lying on my stomach fiddling with the window and duct tape when the owner’s son pulled up and demanded to know who I was and what I was doing (I guess I’m lucky the police didn’t show up, although that happened on another occasion when I was in graduate school, but I digress). I told him I lived there. He said that one of the neighbors called in to report a, “suspicious character,” around the complex. He said(approximately), “They did the right thing. They could have been preventing a break-in. It is better to be safe than sorry” I replied, “It’s broad daylight (it was 11:00 am on a bright Sunday morning) and I’m in full view of everyone. What kind of burglar would do that. Didn’t they hear me move in all day, yesterday (it took six hours)? No, what they did was jump to conclusions, drag you out here and get me in trouble.”

    There is being helpful and then there is seeing trouble where there might or might not be any. There are cases where it is better to be safe than sorry. This was not one of them.

    The Chicken

  100. The Masked Chicken says:

    I don’t, by my comments mean to sound mean-spirited. I’m just trying to do an objective moral evaluation of the affair, so that I can learn something from it. There may be other aspects of which I am unaware that gave the letter writer more incentive to send the letter. All I can work with is the facts on-hand. Perhaps that makes me a busy-body, as well, but I do not know nor do I want to know the identity of the letter-writer. It could have been my cousin, Eggbert, for all I know. What lessons should be learned?

    1. Teach parents and students better moral foundations
    2. Clarify hiring practices
    3. Be more prudent in making character judgments
    4. Get rid of that stupid, unconstitutional Columbus City ordinance
    5. Get some nuns in habits in the schools

    The Chicken

  101. future_sister says:

    This may be a rabbit hole and if so I apologize, but what I find interesting is that this woman is a Methodist. The Methodist church also teaches that homosexuality is a sin and actually has in the “Book of Discipline” that homosexual persons are not allowed to be members of the Methodist church, much less get married. This was actually a huge debate as they re-write their “Book of Discipline” every four years and 2012 was the last one and the Southern Methodist church insisted on no homosexual marriage while the Northern Methodist churches decided to just ignore the rule. I know this because I was raised Methodist and there is a “married” homosexual couple at my dad’s church. It had to be kept on the DL from the Methodist bishop.

    My reason for pointing this out is the Catholic school probably didn’t think they were going to have this issue from her since the Methodist church says no homosexuality (it actually says if you even have SSA you can’t be a member). So obviously in firing her they upheld Catholic morals, but, they also upheld the morals of her own church… Technically.

    We had a lesbian gym teacher at my high school. I didn’t feel too weirded out since she wasn’t allowed to go into the locker room, but it still was kind of awkward especially since I always had to ask one of the teachers to spot me when I was lifting because everyone else just wanted to be lazy in class. None of the male teachers wanted to spot a female student so…

    It’s simple. Any private company or organization or whatever you work for is going to have a code of conduct to follow in order to be employed there. If you don’t want to follow their code, find a different job.

  102. mark says:

    I will pray for Bishop Campbell, of course, but I think that he has been let down by the actions of his diocesan officials in this case. I cannot see the justice in the dismissal of this teacher. But perhaps there is more to this story than we are being told here, and more facts will emerge. Meanwhile, the anonymous letter-writer should be ashamed of himself or herself.

  103. marajoy says:

    I doubt anyone will actually read my 97th comment, but I can’t help but thinking that schools wouldn’t have this problem if they simply hired Catholics who were ON FIRE for their faith.

  104. Nancy D. says:

    I just purchased the newly released book, “Pope Francis, on Heaven and Earth”, a dialogue with Jorge Mario Bergoglio and Abraham Skorka and on page 117, Jorge Mario Bergoglio states, in response to Abraham Skorka, who states on page 115 that “Since Genesis, the human ideal is the union of a man and woman. Jewish Law is clear-homosexuality is not allowed. On the other hand, I respect everyone as long as they are modest, and keep their private lives to themselves.”

    “…if there is a union of a private nature, their is neither a third party, nor is society affected. Every person needs a male father and a female mother that can help them shape their identity.” – Jorge Mario Bergoglio

    If you are not worshipping The God that desires we overcome our disordered inclinations, including our disordered sexual inclinations, so that we may not be led into temptation, but rather be transformed, you are not worshipping The True God, The God of our Salvation, The Communion of Perfect Love that Is The Blessed Trinity.

  105. Scarltherr says:

    frjim4321, given the small population of active homosexuals, the rate of child abusers from that population is much higher than in the general public. Homosexuality is a disorder, and to have someone with disordered sexuality in contact with temptations is not prudent.

    And yes, sometimes gym teachers go into locker rooms while students are changing. Touching is not necessary for sexual abuse to take place. Some molesters have been put in jail for having children undress in front of them. Gym teachers don’t even need to ask.

    It seems to me that your comments are more directed toward protecting the adults than the children. This kind of thinking only creates dangerous situations for the kids.

  106. Nancy D. says:

    Correction, Here is what Pope Francis said in regards to same-sex sexual relationships:
    “If there is a union of a private nature, their is neither a third party, nor is society affected. Now, if the union is given the category of marriage and they are given adoption rights, their could be children affected. Every person needs a male father and a female mother that can help them shape their identity.”

  107. HyacinthClare says:

    Fr Z, defend us! Look at all these writers here! They’ve totally changed the subject from the original one, the presence of an active homosexual woman teaching in a Catholic school, who hoped to “change” the attitude of her students and their parents (pretty successfully, it appears!) from what the Church teaches on this subject, and the attacks on the bishop because of her belated removal from her position. I have never seen so many red herrings and blown smoke in my life as I have here. You said recently that in every war there are collaborators and quislings, but what should we do not to get sidetracked into being one?? Please comment on all this again.

  108. robtbrown says:

    TMC,

    How can it be detraction when it was already public knowledge by being in the newspaper?

    The article seems to indicate that only the article was sent to the chancery, no letter. Thus, it is not relevant whether or not it was anonymous–the obit was publicly published. And how can it be said that it was none of the sender’s business or was a busybody? Perhaps it was a parent who sent the article..

  109. Nancy D. says:

    To condone same-sex sexual relationships, even if they exist only in private, is to condone same-sex sexual acts. One cannot be Catholic while condoning same-sex sexual acts or any type of sinful acts, simultaneously. (Catholic Canon 750) As the mother of a daughter who developed a same-sex sexual attraction during her freshman year of college due to the perfect storm that included a date rape by a young man she trusted, I have watched my daughter grow and develop and know that she is suffering from a severe emotional problem that has caused her physical, emotional and spiritual harm. I Love my daughter, as I Love all my children, and desire that she develop healthy and Holy relationships and friendships that are respectful and dignified and thus grounded in authentic Love. I am very concerned by the statement made by Pope Francis in his book, “On Heaven and Earth”, and as a mother who desires that all her children learn to Love according to The Word of God, and desires Salvation for all of my beloved, I believe we are in serious trouble.

  110. frjim4321 says:

    Scarltherr … I think we are of two very incompatible mindsets on this issue.

  111. LarryW2LJ says:

    capchoirgirl,

    Here in New Jersey, the obits are more direct and less vague. If I may – an excerpt from my Mom’s obit from May 2012:

    “Surviving are her children and their spouses, Ann Marie & David Miller of Hightstown and Lawrence J. & Marianne Makoski of South Plainfield; her grandchildren, Michael A. Miller, Joseph A. Makoski and Cara Makoski and her sister, Irene “Pearl” Novik of Brick.”

    Here in New Jersey, in situations like this, I have seen the term “life partner” or some such other words used. Like I said, a lot less vague around here.

  112. Gail F says:

    Fr. Jim et al:
    If the obituuary read “…Survived by her son, Charles (Alexis) Roe of Jamestown, KY; daughter, Carla (Julie) Hale of Powell…” then further inferences are NOT totally subjective. In a death notice, the name of the person in parentheses after the child’s name is the spouse. That’s standard.

    I think you are jumping to conclusions to say the parent was mean-spirited. She saw the death notice, she saw the same-sex “spouse,” she said, “hmmmm…. she has a female “spouse”?” You don’t know any more than I do that she called up the principal and screamed for the woman’s head. She might have asked around and found that “everyone knows Carla has a wife,” called the school to find out who knew there, and then written a letter to say, “I’m surprised to find that one of the teachers at the Catholic school I sacrifice to pay tuition to has a same-sex spouse.” Either thing could be true, or something else altogether. All I can say is that if I found out one of my kids’ teachers had a same-sex partner, I would definitely expect that teacher to be fired.

  113. OrthodoxChick says:

    robtbrown,

    You said, “My guess is that looking the other way was already the MO of the administration, but once her situation was made public, the parameters changed.”

    If yours is the accurate assessment of what has been transpiring, then the real problem here is that the Church preaches and teaches officially against SSM in the CCC. But in terms of practical implementation of Her teaching, the policy is “Don’t ask, don’t tell” – at least in the Diocese of Columbus. Maybe the principal should be shown the same door as the gym teacher.

    This type of “Do as we say, not as we do” policy is a problem. Our Church leaders, beginning with the USCCB, need to make up their mind. Choose a course, then stay that course.

    What was it again that Jesus said about being lukewarm???

  114. Gail F says:

    Fr. Jim:

    Oh good grief. It is not an injustice to “deprive someone of her livelihood” when she violates her contract. That’s why we have contracts — so we can fire people when they break them. She has apparently had an ongoing homosexual relationship for 15 years, in violation of her contract and in violation of Catholic morals. She clearly knew it to be a violation, because she kept it secret. Are the rules of morality now, “Don’t sin — but if you do, just make sure no one finds out”?

    I don’t know this woman’s story. She had children — perhaps, like many women her age, she “discovered she was a lesbian” late in life, and AFTER she had been employed at the Catholic school. She seems to have liked her job, but not enough to have abided by the rules of her employers. People every day decide that the contracts they sign are stupid — they moonlight, when they’re prohibited from doing so; they go to work for a rival when they’ve signed a non-compete clause; they smoke pot when they sign an agreement not to take illegal drugs. This is no different.

    Instead of finding another job at a school where she didn’t have to lie, she gambled that she could have the job AND the partner. She lost that gamble. She chose to live a lie every day for 15 years — not in the 1950s, when such a relationship would destroy pretty much any career, but in the 1990s. Why is anyone lauding her? It’s too bad that she got herself into this mess, but she did.

  115. The Masked Chicken says:

    Dear HyacinthClare,

    I thought the purpose of the post was to discuss the situation in Columbus, not just, homosexuality in the high school. Clearly, this is a situation that was caused by something. Granted, what is done, is done, but did this have to come to this? This is not side-tracking the issue. I addressed the issue of homosexuality in high school in one of other posts. There is room for more than one aspect of the situation to be commented on, I hope.

    On the other hand, since I, clearly, don’t have all of the facts, I will bow out of the discussion, henceforth. My major concern was to mention that merely sending in a very confusing obituary is not solid enough evidence for the principal to do anything, including, investigation.

    robtbrown,

    The detraction occurred by when the article was sent to someone who, arguably, did not need to know about it (the principal), since the evidence was only circumstantial and subject to misinterpretation. I corrected myself in a later post, when I realized that the obituary was sent to the principal, not the diocese, who got involved, after the fact. That the obituary was public knowledge is one thing. The correct interpretation, whatever it would have been, was not. I guess, it is more suspicion acting as a certainty acting as detraction.

    Even if it had been a parent, they had the obligation to interpret the obituary in the best light before sending in their suspicions to be acted on, unless, as I say, they had other information. Many priests have been falsely accused of molestation on less evidence, I suspect.

    The Chicken

  116. mamajen says:

    @OrthodoxChick

    EXACTLY! This is why, in this particular case, I am having a difficult time jumping on “the Church is the victim” bandwagon. They’ve been weak all along, and their decisive action in this case seems woefully out of place. I do not support the teacher’s newfound activism, or the attack’s on the bishop, but the diocese’s chickens are coming home to roost. Maybe it’s terrible of me, but I wonder if the decision was truly made out of concern for Church teaching, or concern for the diocese’s bottom line.

  117. robtbrown says:

    TMC,

    Your comments don’t fit the known facts.

    Once the obit was published, it was public knowledge, which disqualified it as detraction. Further, we don’t know that the receiver already didn’t know. The article could have been sent not to inform the recipient of the situation but rather to let the recipient know that others also knew.

    There is also the matter that the gym teacher can be considered a public person at least within the school–and that this info is relevant in so far as it is a Catholic school. That would disqualify this as detraction.

    As I said before, my guess is that this was probably a case of don’t ask, don’t tell. As long as the gym teacher didn’t flaunt her girlfriend and kept the relationship relatively private, it was tolerated. As I also said, it is likely that most of the hs students already knew.

    And your comments about the obituary are fantasy. There seems to have been no interpretation, just someone sending an article without comment. Anyone who regularly reads obits has seen various phrases like “lifelong partners” or “companions”. I doubt that anyone would take them to refer to those who regularly play golf or bridge together. Only the most naive would not realize they refer to cohabitation without marriage.

  118. maryh says:

    @robtbrown How can it be detraction when it was already public knowledge by being in the newspaper?
    The definition of detraction TMC linked to was “The vice of detraction consists of disclosing, without good reason, another’s faults and failings to persons who did not know them”

    So the question is not whether or not the knowledge was public, which it clearly was, but whether or not the letter writer had a good reason. The fact that something is public knowledge doesn’t mean *everyone* knows it.

    The most straightforward interpretation I can see is:

    The letter-writer saw the obituary, read it in the normal way for the area, corroborated the evidence, and sent the obit to the bishop, leaving it to the bishop to handle. It would be better if the letter were not anonymous, but I think the letter writer had good reason to assume possible retribution (after all, the principal has been threatened and now requires guarding). We’re not told that s/he called for the teacher’s immediate dismissal. The most charitable assumption is that the letter-writer hoped the Bishop would do something about the situation in the most charitable way possible, perhaps in the way suggested by @Father P above.

    Up to this point, except for the anonymity, I don’t see anything wrong with what the letter-writer did. The letter-writer had good reason to believe that a teacher at the Catholic school was living in a publicly known homosexual relationship, so s/he let the Bishop know, in case he either didn’t know about it or did know and needed a push to do something about it.

    @TheMaskedChicken and @frjim
    This is a case where there are serious consequences – a teacher at a Catholic school living in public sin. Based on the responses to her firing, she clearly was scandalizing the children. If the obit, being read in the usual way for the area, stated that a teacher was publicly living in contradicton to the moral teaching of the Church, it needed to be investigated.

    For example, if a newspaper article listed a local Catholic teacher as a NARAL member, even though it could have been in error, wouldn’t a parent have been similarly obligated to make sure the bishop knew about it? At the very least, it would be necessary for the Bishop to let the faithful know that there was a mistake and that the teacher was not actually doing what the paper said she was doing. In fact, if it were a mistake, the teacher would probably have been gratified to have it corrected.

    The Bishop read the obit in the normal way for the area, and conducted an investigation. The investigation showed that it was indeed public knowledge that the teacher was in an openly homosexual relationship. There’s no question about this either. I’m not quite sure why he chose to terminate her immediately instead of waiting until the end of the term. That sounds uncharitable.

    However, the teacher is also right to be upset about this, (although I’m not saying she should have filed suit) even had the Bishop handled it differently and with the utmost discretion. If I’m allowed to retain my position for 19 years, despite it being common knowledge that I am living in opposition to what those “right-wing extremists” say the Church teaching really is, because “my conscience” says I’m okay, it is reasonable to assume that the Catholic school where I am is okay with that. After all, lots of Catholics and Catholic institutions don’t see anything wrong with what I’m doing either.

    I don’t see how we’re going to avoid these situations, because in places where this has been the case, cleaning house on people who’ve been allowed to teach while living in open sin is definitely going to look arbitrary. Not saying we shouldn’t do it, but I’m saying that however charitably and discreetly it’s done, it’s going to be painful.

  119. mamajen says:

    @robtbrown

    There was a letter sent with the article. Here’s the most complete quote I’ve been able to find:

    Addressed to Hutson, Catholic school Superintendent Lucia McQuaid, and deacon Frank Iannarino, it began: “My daughter came home and told me that one of the gym teacher’s mother had died. She asked me to pray for her. When we looked in the obituary, I was shocked by what I saw. It has her teacher’s name and that of her spouses listed. It was two females.”

    It was signed “A concerned parent in our Catholic schools.”

    http://www.dispatch.com/content/stories/local/2013/04/21/backers-of-gay-teacher-speak-out.html

    Hope the mother was charitable enough to pray after she was done being shocked.

  120. capchoirgirl says:

    Oh it’s definitely going to be painful. Needs to be done. But painful.
    One correction: The letter was sent to the principal, initially, not the bishop. I’m sure the superintendent of the Diocese received a copy, as per the investigation, but the diocesan officials were not the original recipients.

  121. Gratias says:

    Homosexuals continue their long march against the Church. There will be plenty of lawyers, and FrJim, ready to help the destruction of the institution that stands in the way of the destruction of Western civilization.

  122. StJude says:

    frjim4321 says:
    “A wise pastor told me once “never read an anonymous letter, destroy it immediately.”
    Very wise advice which would have avoided prompting this bishop’s action.”

    Ignore it and it will go away? Seriously?

    I sent an anon letter to parents of a kid my son was friends with years ago.. the kid was on a you tube video stoned out of his mind. I sent it anon so my son wouldnt be called a nark for showing his mom.. so the parents wouldnt be embarrassed when they saw me. But most of all.. so the parents could take care of a situation that was damaging to their child.
    I imagine the mom in this case had similar concerns.

  123. Indulgentiam says:

    “Tootle told the Register that he wants Hale reinstated at her job and might also file a lawsuit.”

    What Tootle wants is for the Dioceese to back down quietly b/c his legal position is tenuous at best. ALL major corporations have a section titled “DUTY OF LOYALTY DURING EMPLOYMENT” in their offer letters for higher positions. As a matter of contract law, any ambigueties must be resolved against the drafter of the contract, in this case the employer. Every dioceese, with compitant lawyers would have a comprable clause in their teachers contracts. If the teacher did NOT question the contract in all of her 19 years than assent is implied. She can not say, “yeah i signed it but i dont agree with it and i just thought they’d never catch on” Any lawyer worth his salt can get this tossed. The proponents of the unnatural are looking to set legal precedent. In other words they are looking for the weakest link. Every Dioceese should be on its guard and start cleaning house ASAP. Yes, cleanup is generally hard work but it restores order and a measure of peace. The U.S. Supreme Court has already ruled that churches are not bound by some workplace discrimination laws. This is just another attack by the proponents of the unnatural. We know who is behind them. Our enemy who seeks our souls. he will keep attacking till the day we die. Sure you can give up but eternity is a LONG time to be his prisoner of war.

  124. cl00bie says:

    So it begins.

    This gentle and faithful bishop may have to go to jail. I hope he calls the press as he turns himself in for his arraignment. More and more, God is going to be providing us with opportunities for real persecution and possibly actual martyrdom.

    Satan is strong in this town.

  125. Gratias says:

    26 April 2013 at 11:44 am

    Homosexuals continue their long march against the Church. There will be plenty of lawyers, and FrJim, ready to help the destruction of the institution that stands in the way of the destruction of Western civilization.

    Have you considered the possibility that there are same-sex-attracted people who would like to follow Christ, who are prepared to take up their cross, but would like to be welcomed to do so, and would like fellowship along the way? In short, they want to be Catholic too?

    In fact, here’s a shock–there are, right now, faithful Catholics who have same-sex attraction.

    Maybe declaring all homosexuals the enemy isn’t the best way to make homosexuals feel welcome as Catholics?

  126. RobtBrown said:

    As I said before, my guess is that this was probably a case of don’t ask, don’t tell. As long as the gym teacher didn’t flaunt her girlfriend and kept the relationship relatively private, it was tolerated. As I also said, it is likely that most of the hs students already knew.

    Well, inasmuch as we’re speculating, I can see a middle ground:

    The teacher in question did not flaunt or advertise her relationship, but one can hardly keep it a “secret”–i.e., people would see her around town with the other person, and might well know they are housemates. None of that, however, indicates anything untoward.

    That said, the teacher may have been subject to rumors and wisecracks from the students–as almost all teachers are. One can readily imagine the sorts of things one might say about a female gym teacher, or any teacher, who is not married, and not particularly young. At least, I remember the sorts of things we said when I was in high school. Every flaw, every personality detail, is grist for the mill of students’ commentary and mockery.

    So if someone told me the kids all “knew” the teacher was homosexual, that may mean they had actual knowledge, but it might very well mean they speculated accurately.

    I’ve had enough experience to know that quite a lot of rumors can circulate that have no tangible link to the truth. And sometimes, they are accidentally right–like a stopped clock.

    Which is to say that, even if the Chicken’s observations do not prove to be exactly correct, his point about watching ones tongue and holding back from unneeded commentary on other people, is valid.

    Both homosexual activity and sins of the tongue are condemned by Scripture. But I doubt I need to point out about which one the Bible says more.

  127. Indulgentiam says:

    In charity I propose that everyone who is able, on the 3rd day of every month, for the next 3 months, begin their favorite Novena for the benefit of frjim4321 ‘s soul. Surely y’all see how much he needs it. How about it y’all?

  128. Atra Dicenda, Rubra Agenda says:

    @Fr. Martin Fox who said:
    “In fact, here’s a shock–there are, right now, faithful Catholics who have same-sex attraction.
    Maybe declaring all homosexuals the enemy isn’t the best way to make homosexuals feel welcome as Catholics?”

    Intelligent Catholics can make the distinction between individuals with SSA and active homosexuals. I believe the commenter above who you responded to was referring to the latter group.

    @Fr. Martin Fox who said:
    “Both homosexual activity and sins of the tongue are condemned by Scripture. But I doubt I need to point out about which one the Bible says more.”

    The quantity of bible verses in reference to a prohibited action is not a measure of gravity. The Scriptures are pretty clear that sodomy is a sin of sufficient gravity to cry out to heaven for justice and we find multiple passages of God’s justice on the matter, both in the Old Testament and the New Testament.

  129. The Masked Chicken says:

    I had a long reply, in which I went back and actually looked at the way the Dispatch uses parentheses in its obits, with examples. They are used for a couple of things: 1)maiden names, 2)relationships (be it marriage or not?) – with the relative, male or female, listed first, followed by the other party in the relationship, 3)remarks. They also list relationships separately, like John and Nancy Lastname, so, they are inconsistent in how they do things. So, does a parentheses mean the couple are only living together or actually married? If married, why do they list some couples separately and not with parentheses?

    No, obit decoding for a particular person can be unclear to people outside of the immediate family. That raises enough reasonable doubt that one is obligated to check a fact before asserting it, if it pertains to sin.

    I won’t post my long reply, but my point stands. The person who sent the letter about the obituary was not acting as charitably as they could have given the multiple, unexplained uses of parentheses in the Dispatch obits (there is no key provided, anywhere, on the obit page).

    I may be wrong in all of this and I don’t want to clog the combox anymore by trying to prove a point. Suffice it to say, the damage is done in Columbus. I will stay out of the combox, since who did what to whom is secondary to how it is resolved. I will be content to pray and keep my mouth shut, from here on.

    The Chicken

  130. gracie says:

    Ralph,

    Back in 1986, at the Franciscan Chapel in Japan, there was a CCD teacher dismissed from her job for being remarried without getting an annulment from her first husband. She was upset and angry but the priest held firm and replaced her.

    This was in the swinging ’80′s when the remarriage of still sacramentally married Catholics had become pretty common. At the same time, it was ‘under the radar’ as far as directly mentioning it to a priest because everyone *knew* what the rules were. Everyone today still *knows* what the rules are but the difference is that they now are being openly challenged.

  131. Atra Dicenda, Rubra Agenda says:
    26 April 2013 at 12:53 pm
    @Fr. Martin Fox who said:

    “In fact, here’s a shock–there are, right now, faithful Catholics who have same-sex attraction.
    Maybe declaring all homosexuals the enemy isn’t the best way to make homosexuals feel welcome as Catholics?”

    Intelligent Catholics can make the distinction between individuals with SSA and active homosexuals. I believe the commenter above who you responded to was referring to the latter group.

    Intelligent Catholics (indeed, intelligent non-Catholics) can make that distinction; but so what? You and I can, indeed, suppose that Gratias actually meant that–but Gratias did not say that.

    But there is an additional point, that perhaps I failed to make clear. Do you suppose it really makes same-sex-attracted people welcome when every homosexual is labeled an enemy? I mean really, are words so rare and hard to utter or type that we simply cannot afford the effort to spell out what we mean in a way that might actually be inviting?

    Let’s try it out:

    “Alcoholics continue their long march against the Church…”
    “Anyone who gossips…”
    “People in invalid marriages…”
    “People who participate in abortions…”
    “People who tell lies…”
    “People who skip Sunday Mass…”

  132. Gus Barbarigo says:

    We, the Church Militant, cannot ‘ride out the storm’ because:

    1) We are duty-bound to preach the commands of Christ to the ends of the earth, and

    2) We are going to be subject to persecution in one way or another. Cowering in a ghetto is a “soft” persecution compared to imprisonment or worse, but it wll not stop the storm of evil.

    Better to stand up for Christ and our witness of Him. Better to win a few battles, and a few souls along the way. If we’re going to go down, let’s go down fighting!

  133. VexillaRegis says:

    Fr. Z?

  134. Atra Dicenda, Rubra Agenda says:

    @ Fr. Fox Martin:

    I think it is clear that there do exist very vocal active homosexuals and supporters of active homosexuality who do have a public disdain for the Catholic Church in particular because of her firm stance on the disordered nature of the homosexual act. And that these individuals do work publicly to undermine the Catholic Church and her teachings throughout the world. This group of homosexuals and their supporters exist collectively in a way against the Church that I do not think “gossipers” or “alcoholics” could be reasonably compared. The commenter above should have stated “militant active homosexuals” or some other adjectives to satisfy your distinction and this would have been more charitable. Similarly, there exist very anti-Catholic protestants with a genuine bigotry toward Catholicism (and I do not think that their number is negligible), but it would be uncharitable to presume this position from every protestant or to use the term protestant in a manner that presumes they all behave this way.
    To reiterate, however, when people use the term “homosexual” they do not always mean to include chaste individuals with SSA. Often they are referring to people actively and obstinately engaging in the acts and NOT referring to individuals who are through the grace of God living chastely.

  135. maryh says:

    @capchoirgirl
    Thanks for the correction. Since it was sent to the principal, maybe she over-reacted and made it impossible for the Bishop to follow the Father P approach.

    @Father Martin Fox
    Maybe declaring all homosexuals the enemy isn’t the best way to make homosexuals feel welcome as Catholics?
    ABSOLUTELY !!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    Yes, I’m shouting.

    One of the big problems I see is treating everyone with same-sex attractions as if they’re the enemy. This leaves them with only two alternatives that I can see:
    1. make sure no one ever finds out about their temptation and lead a lonely and continent life (and even that may not work, because just being unmarried by a certain age might lead to a reputation)
    or
    2. come out about their temptations and fully embrace homosexual activity

    We’ve GOT to make sure there is a third choice:
    3. be able to be honest about their temptations without falling into sin.

    And you can’t imagine how difficult this is. EVERYONE is (or seems to be) against you if you try this. And you know how scary pro-gay activists can be. There’s a reason the principal is guarded now. Now imagine you have SSA and you come out openly about your SSA AND that you follow traditional Catholic teaching.

    As for blaming homosexuals about this, I’d like to reference this article by Msgr. Charles Pope at onemoresoul:
    http://onemoresoul.com/news-commentary/homosexual-marriage-we-have-sown-the-wind-and-now-reap-the-whirlwind.html?utm_source=4-8-13&utm_campaign=annunciation&utm_medium=email

    Let me quote part of it: The widespread acceptance of homosexual activity IS God’s punishment. It is a punishment that does not single out homosexuals, it is a punishment on us all. He gets this from Romans 1:24-27
    In other words, homosexuals didn’t cause this environment – a culture that separated procreation from both sex and marriage through divorce, cohabitation and contraception did.

    I would like to also point out that people with SSA are also hurt the most by widespread acceptance of homosexual activity. Especially combined with silence on the medical repercussions and the concept of “safe” or “safer” sex.

    * They’re the ones who are probably hurt the most by being encouraged to “identify their sexuality” while they’re still teenagers.

    * They, like all teenagers, are told it’s not reasonable to expect them to be continent while teens, and that sexual activity can be okay as long as they’re “responsible.” How’s that for twisted thinking? They can’t be expected to avoid temptation but they CAN be expected to be “responsible” during actual arousal.

    * They’re the ones who get the deadliest diseases.

    * They’re the ones who rule out marriage (real marriage) even if they have some amount of normal sexual attraction, thereby ruling out the possibility of ever having a normal family life or children of their own.

    So enough already about what the “homosexuals” are doing. Some admittedly vicious homosexualist activists (some of whom are straight) are driving in through the Grand Canyon we’ve opened up.

    Are we spending as much time trying to convert our contraception-using neighbors as we do fighting gay marriage? How about tightening up the divorce laws? We can do that state by state too. Anything that supports the culture of separating procreation from sex and from marriage supports gay “marriage”.

    I’d like to see more (I assume some already are, but using the “Father P” method, which means we mostly don’t know about them) teachers disciplined for using contraception, or dismissed for re-marrying after divorce.

    And because we’ve let it go this far, we still also need to fight against marriage being (even further) redefined to apply to same sex couples.

  136. PA mom says:

    I am just catching up n this, but, didn’t it say, two female spouses? I mean, let’s put aside homosexuality. Does a Catholic parent have an acceptable Reason to object to multiple spouses?
    Really, it IS about no these things are handled, and it ISN’T.
    While I would (in fact did) have no problem working with a homosexual coworker while in the accounting field, I would have no qualms insisting against it when it came to a school position.
    Or maybe we parents just need to homeschool all of our kids, and then we can stop throwing accusations at other people, because they won’t have so much influence over our kids.

  137. capchoirgirl says:

    Yup, @mary, the bishop sort of got tossed into this after the fact. I’m wondering if we’ll see anything in our parish bulletins this weekend that clarifies or gives more details.

  138. Indulgentiam says:

    maryh says: “We’ve GOT to make sure there is a third choice:
    3. be able to be honest about their temptations without falling into sin.”
    I’m sorry, I don’t understand what you mean by this. Please clarify. Thanks :)

  139. PA mom says:

    Maryh-what a good, thorough comment!

  140. Atra Dicenda, Rubra Agenda says:

    @maryh who said:
    “In other words, homosexuals didn’t cause this environment – a culture that separated procreation from both sex and marriage through divorce, cohabitation and contraception did.”

    I disagree. “Cultures” are not some anonymous ethereal “thing” separate from the individuals living in a society, “culture” are the collective mores of the individuals. Individuals separated procreation from both sex and marriage through divorce, cohabitation, contraception, and homosexuality. I think prominent (and less than prominent) active homosexuals alive during the sexual revolution contributed to the separation of procreation from both sex and marriage. These individuals are not victims to some bourgeois heterosexual reordering of society, they were part of it. Again, I make the needed distinction between active homosexuals and those living chastely with SSA who have no contributed to the culture which separated sex/marriage/procreation.

  141. The Masked Chicken says:

    “maryh says: “We’ve GOT to make sure there is a third choice:
    3. be able to be honest about their temptations without falling into sin.”
    I’m sorry, I don’t understand what you mean by this. Please clarify. Thanks :)”

    Ohh, let me take this one…

    Example: I’ve got a big mouth. I am tempted to speak too long and without sufficient reflection. I am honest about it. It is plain for all to see. I can be honest that I have this fault, without falling into sin by SHUTTING UP.

    The Chicken

  142. maryh says:

    @Indulgentiam
    I said the third option was:
    3. be able to be honest about their temptations without falling into sin.

    It means they don’t have to hide that they have same-sex attractions or have to worry about someone finding out about it.
    *They could say they were avoiding something that was an occasion of temptation (maybe a male-only or female-only retreat could be a temptation for a particular individual?) in the same way an alcoholic might bow out of a “Theology on Tap” meeting.
    *They wouldn’t have to either keep making excuses when people tried to set them up with a member of the opposite sex, or go out and mislead their date.
    *If they still had some degree of normal attraction, they could be honest about their SSA with a potential spouse.
    *Church members, knowing that were living without the possibility of marriage, would make conscious efforts to make them “part of the family”. Perhaps certain families could “adopt” them.
    *and so on.

    The main problem with living a celibate lifestyle is loneliness, not lack of sex, from what I understand. We’re Catholic, with a celibate priesthood and celibate religious. For goodness’ sake, if anyone knows how to help people be celibate without giving up on true friendship or love, we should know!

  143. Indulgentiam says:

    Gee chicken you stole my thunder and MY sin…dog gone chicken, where’s a chicken hawk when you need one :)

    Thank you maryh. Your explanation really helped me to understand. I’m at that advanced age where, when I ask for clarification, then get only two or three sentences back, I’m usually too embarrassed to say, Um, I still don’t get it :) but I get what you mean, I think.
    Here is the thing though who wants to go around broadcasting their sinful inclinations? There is such a thing as a healthy sense of shame no? I am old enough to remember being told that a healthy sense of shame came built in with the “do good and avoid evil”

  144. Atra:

    There are a lot of people who actively undermine authentic Catholic teaching and practice. The thing I would note is that while militant homosexuals–for lack of a better term–are generally doing so from outside. I.e., when I’ve had resistance, as a pastor, to authentic Catholic teaching and practice in my parish assignments, I have zero evidence it was “very active homosexuals” who were contributing that resistance.

    I don’t know you, so this may miss the mark, I want to acknowledge. But speaking generally, there is, especially among those who are more traditional (where I would put myself), sometimes a “thing” about homosexuality. Somehow, same-sex desires are treated as if they belong in a special catagory of sin. There’s a reason we used to refer to “the sin that dare not speak its name.” And this, by the way, is one reason you don’t hear as much about it from the pulpit. A lot of folks get squeamish.

    And I’d say we need to get past this. It is a sin; along with all sins against chastity, it is a grave sin. But I would push back against any notion that it represents so unique a threat to the Church, or to the world, or to individual salvation, that whatever description if its awfulness or its peril cannot be aptly applied to quite a lot of other sins.

    Yes, it is traditionally termed a sin crying out to heaven. But there are others so described: do you recall what they were? And, do you recall what “the sin of sodom” includes? It’s not just same-sex desire.

  145. PA mom says:

    Ok, I am going to take a crack at the “culture” vs individual issue.
    Let’s say, for instance, that the rising percentage of homosexuals turns out to be due to the unnatural levels of estrogen (and estrogen like) chemicals which we have been inundating the environment with.
    Wouldn’t that be a factual societal cause and societal punishment?

  146. maryh says:

    @Indulgentiam

    Sure, I understand. It’s an issue I’m dealing with with my relatives, so I guess it’s kind of personal.

    As for the shame, the point is, it’s not any more shameful to have same-sex attractions than it is to be alcoholic or have diabetes.

    Still, most people with SSA would probably not broadcast it – they’d just know they can tell a few people they can trust to be discreet. AND know that if it does become common knowledge, it won’t be the end of the world. In other words, they’d be able to count on help.

  147. Giuseppe says:

    Fr. Martin Fox, I always appreciate your insights.

    This might be another rabbit hole: can a same-sex couple live together and avoid any form of genital sexual activity/expression and remain in the church?

  148. cwillia1 says:

    There are three important issues here. The first is the right of a private school to manage its own affairs with respect to its very mission. This is the religious freedom issue. The second is the propriety of Catholic school teachers living publicly a way of life or teaching values in contradiction to the gospel. The third is the question of when and whether discrimination against people with SSA is reasonable. I would say that sometimes it is. A chaste, faithful, Catholic male with SSA teaching algebra in a Catholic girls’ school poses no problems. A lesbian teaching girls’ physical education does raise serious issues.

  149. maryh says:

    @Atra Dicenda, Rubra Agenda

    Yes, you are right. There is no such thing as a “culture”, at least in the sense of being guilty. The situation we find ourselves in has come about due to the actions of a small minority and the lack of sufficient (or in the case of contraception, hardly any) resistance from the majority.

    No doubt some actual homosexuals were involved. But so what? I’m sure most of the instigators were straight. I don’t think Margaret Sanger was homosexual. If I recall correctly, nobody forced no-fault divorce on us. Or contraception.

    Mainstream straight people are primarily responsible for allowing these things to happen. Because we liked the idea of being “nice” to divorced people, and btw, having an out if things got too tough. Because we liked the idea of having sex without taking procreation into account. They weren’t hard sells. At least, that’s not how I remember it (I could be wrong – I’m open to correction here as on anything else).

    Separating out homosexuals specifically makes no sense, in terms of fixing the problem, anymore than separating out the fact that most of them were white.

    And it needlessly alienates people with SSA who are, or would be, on our side.

  150. Atra Dicenda, Rubra Agenda says:

    @ Fr. Martin
    Thank you for the thoughtful response. Yes, I am aware of the other sins crying out to heaven. Defrauding laborers, taking advantage of widows, etc. They are all well-defined in my traditional Catechism along with the other numbered lists beloved by traditional Catholics (Precepts of the Church, Mysteries of the Rosary, Corporal Works of Mercy, etc., etc.). And yes, I am aware that the traditional understanding of “sodomy” included other unnatural sexual acts beyond male homosexual anal intercourse. And again, there exists no cohesive group of individuals who glorify the other ‘sins crying out to heaven’ (and who vilify the Catholic Faith) on the list as there exists in militant active homosexuality.

    I think the reason that sodomy provokes such a gut reaction is because it represents a sort of twisted mockery or demonic simulation of the Marriage Sacrament. Perhaps one has to be married to fully appreciate this dimension of repulsion to what homosexuals “do” and how antithetical the act is to the live-giving Sacramental reality of the married conjugal procreative love of heterosexual Catholic couples. One my state that it is the “Black Mass” of sexual sins in that it simulates the Sacramental conjugal act (in a way that even chemical contraception does not).

  151. Atra Dicenda, Rubra Agenda says:

    One might state*

  152. Indulgentiam says:

    maryh:”As for the shame, the point is, it’s not any more shameful to have same-sex attractions than it is to be alcoholic or have diabetes.”
    No it is no more shameful. But my point is that a healthy sense of shame is what keeps, most people from walking around naked and from actively sinning in whatever manner strikes their fancy. It is a societal myth dating back to the 20′s flapper era and enshrined as a societal sacred cow in the 60′s, that shame should be avoided at all costs. If one is ashamed of their sin, it shows that their mind is still firmly tethered to logical reasoning.

    maryh-”Separating out homosexuals specifically makes no sense, in terms of fixing the problem, anymore than separating out the fact that most of them were white.”

    I respectfully disagree. One must separate out the “militant homosexuals” from those living chastely with SSA. And they will be the first ones who will tell you to please, by all means, make the distinction. Distinctions are part and parcel of logic and reasoning, no?

  153. sciencemom says:

    acardnal writes:Unfortunately, public sector employee unions make firing a teacher next to impossible!

    Unless, that is, Planned Parenthood wants the teacher out. Search online for the story of Portland, OR teacher Bill Diss, who dared to stand up to PP in the classroom. He has gone through unbelievable harassment over it, and finally has been put on administrative leave pending his dismissal from his job teaching math and computer science at a public high school. This is in spite of being an outstanding teacher. Please pray for Bill. I know him personally and this isn’t some made up story — it’s real.

  154. maryh says:

    @Indulgentiam

    I agree with you about a healthy sense of shame. It also makes sure we keep going back to confession. :)

    But again, we need to be careful to separate the inclination from the actual sin. Alcoholism may be a good example. I don’t think that people in general like telling others they are alcoholic. But once they’re alcoholic, the tendency to drink too much once they get started is not a sin, it’s an unfortunate condition and a trial. So long as they resist entertaining the temptations to drink, and resist drinking, suffering from the condition of alcoholism is not a sin itself.

    Similarly, someone with SSA has nothing to be ashamed of on account of the condition per se. They will suffer from inclinations to be attracted to the same sex: so long as they resist entertaining those temptations, or giving in to them, they’re not committing a sin or doing anything to be ashamed of.

    And in a society that doesn’t seem to believe real love is possible without sex, this inclination can be a real trial. Which means such people need to know that others will help them if and when they need help. Much like we try to help women going in for abortions.

    If people understood that a deep friendship was also a fulfilling kind of love, and people who didn’t get married weren’t automatically pitied, this might not be so much of a trial.

  155. maryh says:

    Actually, I should have said, “people who didn’t have sex”. People who don’t get married aren’t particularly pitied.

  156. robtbrown says:

    A few points:

    Sexual sins are in fact more shameful than other sins because in them man lowers himself to the state of animals–the satisfaction of sexual passions without them being informed by reason.

    It is a mistake to toss all sexual sins into the same sins against chastity category.

    1. Adultery is a much worse sin than fornication because the former disrupts a concrete marriage. Both, however, are sins against concupiscence–the right act done in the wrong circumstances.

    2. Homosexual acts are not sins against concupiscence but are sins against nature. Unlike adultery and fornication the act itself is unnatural. It’s entirely natural for a man to be attracted to a woman because it’s part of the Divine Plan to regenerate the human species. The same cannot be said for same sex attractions.

    If I might add something I wrote here many months ago: Proponents of the Homosexuality is Normal ideology often insist it is merely an extension of same sex friendship. Such a notion is nonsense. I have many male friends–I am sexually attracted to none of them. I also have many female friends; I am sexually attracted to some but not others–and it has nothing to do with the intensity of the friendship.

    Also: Jung wrote many years ago, perhaps back in the 1930′s that homosexuality would become more prominent. The general reason he gave was it was becoming more and more of a unisex culture.

  157. Atra Dicenda, Rubra Agenda says:

    Adultery is worse than fornication because it is also a sin against justice. The adulterous spouse has unjustly denied their cuckolded spouse the exclusive affection promised by oath to them at their marriage.

  158. robtbrown says:

    Maryh,

    But once they’re alcoholic, the tendency to drink too much once they get started is not a sin, it’s an unfortunate condition and a trial.

    This raises the question of culpability in habitual sin. In this matter, although the presence of the habit probably mitigates culpability, the person might have been responsibility for the formation of the habit.

    You are of course quite right in noting that someone with a disposition to get drunk are responsible for avoiding situations where alcohol is flowing.

  159. Gail F says:

    Fr. Fox has a very good point. One thing people fail to remember — including me at times — is that the “gay activists” are only a small percentage of homosexual people.

    I live in a neighborhood that is very popular with homosexual people, and before that I lived in one that was even MORE popular. The majority of homosexual people act pretty much like anyone else — because they ARE pretty much like anyone else. It is the activists who insist that homosexuality should be “the” defining characteristic in a person’s life, and they are the ones leading the very real and very destructive charge against, not only the Church, but religion and society.

    So imagine that you have same-sex desires. Maybe you don’t want them, maybe you’re not sure. On the one hand, you’ve got a very active, vocal, and seemingly welcoming group of people who urge you to act on those desires, brag about them, exaggerate them even. But you are in some way squeamish about what they say, and maybe you notice that it does not seem to be a life that makes people healthy or happy.

    Maybe you believe in Christ, or you want to. So you go to church, and everyone is calling gay people the number one scourge in the world, or so it seems. They SAY they love gay people, but there don’t seem to be any gay people around for htem to love. Where would YOU go?

    I think it’s a challenge to attract and minister to gay people. I don’t know how to do it. But if we want to really help people, we need to figure it out. Because IMHO the whole “gay rights” thing will eventually fade away, even if it’s not until 100 years from now. But people with same-sex attraction will always be around, because they always have been.

  160. robtbrown says:

    Atra Dicenda, Rubra Agenda says:

    Adultery is worse than fornication because it is also a sin against justice.

    Isn’t that what I said when I mentioned “disrupting a concrete marriage”?

  161. Atra Dicenda, Rubra Agenda says:

    @ maryh who said “But again, we need to be careful to separate the inclination from the actual sin. Alcoholism may be a good example. I don’t think that people in general like telling others they are alcoholic. But once they’re alcoholic, the tendency to drink too much once they get started is not a sin, it’s an unfortunate condition and a trial. So long as they resist entertaining the temptations to drink, and resist drinking, suffering from the condition of alcoholism is not a sin itself.
    Similarly, someone with SSA has nothing to be ashamed of on account of the condition per se. They will suffer from inclinations to be attracted to the same sex: so long as they resist entertaining those temptations, or giving in to them, they’re not committing a sin or doing anything to be ashamed of.”

    While I should say up front that SSA in itself is not sinful so long as the individual lives chastely, the comparison to alcoholism or diabetes is lacking. There are moderate quantities of alcohol or sugar-rich foods that a person can consume and it is a disordering of quantity which makes gluttony wrong, while it is a disordering of quality (nature) which makes homosexuality wrong. In this sense, I would say that “SSA” is more “disordered” than “alcoholism.” This keeping in mind that the temptation of either disorder is not the sin, but the indulging.

  162. Guiseppe:

    In re: your question about same-sex-attracted people living chastely together.

    In general I think it would be unwise, but I can imagine it might work. People with a well-formed conscience and who know themselves well must make good and careful judgments about their own limits and what constitutes a near occasion of sin. To put it plainly, I can imagine a situation where two people as you describe may simply not find any appeal in each other.

    I have known people who said they were heterosexual, who shared housing with the opposite sex–living in the same house, but separate bedrooms, and somewhat separate lives–who say they didn’t get involved. I have no reason to disbelieve them; and the remaining problem there is giving scandal. But if two people with same-sex attraction were not making their attraction known, there might not be any scandal.

  163. frjim4321 says:

    Rbtbrn …

    Yes I remember that the first time you wrote it.

    I don’t think that works. Human beings seek shelter from the cold. So do animals. Human beings seek food when they are hungry. So do animals. Human beings seek water when they are thirsty. So do animals.

    I don’t know anyone who thinks homosexuality is normal because It is an extension of friendship. I suspect people think homosexuality is normal Because they have seen it throughout history.

    Following your logic then, It is equally shameful for human beings to be hungry thirsty or cold.

    I think your analogy is limping badly.

  164. maryh says:

    @Atra Dicenda, Rubra Agenda
    Agreed. The analogy is not perfect. But in the important area, where we agree, it is.
    the temptation of either disorder is not the sin, but the indulging

  165. Indulgentiam says:

    Atra Dicenda, Rubra Agenda says:
    And again, there exists no cohesive group of individuals who glorify the other ‘sins crying out to heaven’ (and who vilify the Catholic Faith) on the list as there exists in militant active homosexuality.
    Absolutely right. Militant homosexuals have absolutely identified themselves, very vocally, as enemies of the Catholic Church. They attack us on all fronts and we are supposed to what? Not identify the enemy as an enemy? There is no logic in that.

    maryh- Which means such people need to know that others will help them if and when they need help.” We agree :) your friends are fortunate to have you.

    “this inclination can be a real trial”
    All inclinations to sin/evil are a trial, some more than others to be sure. But their(suffer SSA) pain is no greater than the alcoholic, drug addict, adulterer etc. We all have our crosses to bare there is some solace in the knowing that EVERYONE suffers from the same condition i.e. concupiscence. Different symptoms but he same disease.

  166. Bob B. says:

    No mention of the Sins that Cry to Heaven for Vengeance (CCC 1867)? I wouldn’t necessarily expect many Catholic school teachers to know this (let alone a Methodist PE teacher) , but when the Director of the Ministry to Priests said he didn’t know of it (with the huge homosexual priest population in the diocese), it staggers the imagination!

  167. Indulgentiam says:

    robtbrown says:
    “2. Homosexual acts are not sins against concupiscence but are sins against nature. Unlike adultery and fornication the act itself is unnatural. It’s entirely natural for a man to be attracted to a woman because it’s part of the Divine Plan to regenerate the human species. The same cannot be said for same sex attractions.”

    Thank you, I didn’t know that.

    frjim4321 says: “I suspect people think homosexuality is normal Because they have seen it throughout history.”
    People have seen cold blooded murder all through out history so are you going to call that normal?
    I think your argument just fell down Father.

  168. Bob:

    Who is the Director of the Ministry to Priests who said he didn’t know of the catechism reference you mentioned?

  169. Giuseppe says:

    I was thinking about a same-sex couple I know at my last church. They lived together, never had any type of ceremony, did not engage in any form of genital sex. They were attracted to eachother and would kiss in private. I heard one speak about the joy of living chastely.

    I didn’t/don’t know how to process all of this. They did not misuse reproductive parts in violation of natural law. How sinful was their kissing? They are living chastely, right? Or no? Is it a sin to live as a couple? Is this ‘giving scandal’? If they persisted in this behavior and situation, should they be refused communion? (They occasionally received.)

  170. Giuseppe:

    Well, let’s just say I find it curious.

    “Living chastely” means they aren’t engaging in sexual behavior with each other. I find it hard to see how they aren’t an occasion of sin to each other, and how the physical intimacy you describe isn’t, well, to be blunt, arousing and therefore sinful–but they aren’t here to speak for themselves.

    Are they giving scandal? Well, perhaps to you, because you seem to know the “rest of the story.” But suppose you didn’t know anything other than they lived together, seemed close, and came to Mass together. What scandal would those facts, alone, give?

    Should they be refused communion? I think that raises the question of whether Canon 915 applies here, and I’m going to defer on that. “Refused communion” is–please note–a very different question of whether they ought to approach. To the latter, my answer is that it depends on whether they are in a state of grace, which I don’t know.

  171. Ann Roth says:

    Wow. I think some of you guys are bending over way too far on this one. I have a comment for those who think that the parent should not have informed the school:

    1. If you do not currently have a student in high school you really have no idea how bad it is in schools with openly homosexual teachers. They are not discreet and teachers under a certain age have no sense of what should be shared with student so they share everything. Why do these people want to teach in Catholic school? It’s not for the money or benefits. They could much better with a public school. What is the motive for teaching Catholic youth? I think we need to start asking why these people want to teach in Catholic school. It ain’t to pass on the faith or to build strong Catholic communities.
    2. . you are assuming that this teacher’s active homosexual lifestyle was not common knowledge at the school. I can almost guarantee you that it was common knowledge because the teacher shared that knowledge. Kids don’t speculate anymore, they KNOW because they are told. These people have no sense. Our families personal experience with more than one teacher is that they are proud of their lifestyle and share the details. Disgusting details not just the “normal” stuff like “we went to the movies. Oh no, they share their sexual escapades.
    3. Some here have assumed bad faith or intentions on the part of the parent. To paraphrase “I hope after she was shocked, that she prayed.” This comment is lacking in charity toward the parent. You should be assuming good faith on her part just as you are assuming the best of the teacher.
    4. Yes, I did just say that I read some of these comments as assuming the best of the teacher and not of the parent. There isn’t enough information here to judge the actions of the parent but we do know that the teacher was giving public scandal. There is a really good chance that the kids knew and that parents knew but the obit blasted that knowledge out of the dark. If so, it should have been done a lot earlier but better late than never. My first thought was the parent had been dealing with fall out from what this teacher was “witnessing” to and had had enough. Decided it was time to act. And as far as doing so anonymously-smart move. If she is being criticized here imagine the harassment she would get in her hometown.
    5.Every time we have a case of public scandal being confronted (teacher fired, some reprimanded…) folks rise up with all kinds of reasons not to do it (“oh, just let the school year run out…..no need to make a big deal). PLEASE STOP undercutting those pastors and bishops who have a backbone and do SOMETHING. You have know idea how much damage this woman has done over the last 20 years teaching in a Catholic high school while EVERYDAY she gives witness to a life that is the opposite of what we want modeled for our children. If you don’t have a child in high school and have not dealt with an openly homosexual teacher, you really have no idea what you are talking about. You have no idea the ugliness these people bring into the classroom, the filth that they share with teens, the damage it does to their innocence, their souls and how far from anything true and beautiful.
    I know very well that not all homosexuals are the enemy. I don’t call any person the enemy but they represent that which is the enemy, the Evil One.
    I totally agree that we need to confront the other evils of contraception and irregular marriages and all that. We need to get non Catholic teachers out of Catholic schools and demand that Catholic teachers be faithful to the Church. Good grief is it too much to ask that we have teachers who at least try to be faithful Catholics?
    My oldest will graduate from public school in June. I can’t wait for him to get out of there. The younger ones are in Catholic school and I just hope we can get them through before all hell breaks loose and we have to accept this nonsense. Wouldn’t want a Catholic school to be Catholic now would we?

  172. robtbrown says:

    frjim4321 says:

    Yes I remember that the first time you wrote it.

    I don’t think that works. Human beings seek shelter from the cold. So do animals. Human beings seek food when they are hungry. So do animals. Human beings seek water when they are thirsty. So do animals.

    A human act is not the same as an act of a human. The former is informed by reason, the latter not necessarily so.

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  175. ckdexterhaven says:

    Ann Roth is 100% correct in regards to how bad it is in public schools right now. There are many publicized incidents we read about in the news, but Christian kids are being challenged every single day on this issue. I have a close friend whose daughter objected to an assignment in PE class. The kids got into groups and were working on a dance routine to perform for the school. The group she was assigned to decided to perform a dance to honor same sex marriage. This girl discreetly went to the teacher after class and asked to be changed to a different group. She told the teacher that this was against her moral beliefs. The first thing the teacher asked her was “What religion are you?” She was switched to another group, but the teacher has openly shunned her, and also told many other teachers in the school, who have made disparaging remarks. This happened in the last 2 weeks, in a wealthy, suburban, “good” school. Folks, it’s going on in your kids’s school. Priests, your young teens are being bombarded by this every day in their schools.

    Even though it’s a bit off topic, I would like to make a comment about the mom who wrote the anonymous letter in Columbus. Normally,I think an anonymous letter is not advised. But look at what the militant homosexual lobby does to people who oppose SSM. When Prop 8 was being voted on in California, the homosexual lobby “helpfully” made a database including maps and addresses people who had donated money to defeat SSM. Businesses and people were confronted and harassed. In New Mexico, Oregon and Washington, small businesses are being sued and ostracized because they don’t want to provide services for a homosexual “marriage.” I can’t blame the anonymous letter writer.

  176. robtbrown says:

    Re Sins that cry to heaven for vengeance:

    IMHO, three of them (oppressing the poor, unjust treatment of workers, and mistreatment of foreigners) were to be found in 19th century US slavery. That situation triggered a war that produced perhaps 1,000,000 deaths (incl civilians).

    I’m not a gloom and doom type, but I have wonder what will follow from sodomy and abortion.

  177. robtbrown says:

    FrJim4321,

    I don’t know anyone who thinks homosexuality is normal because It is an extension of friendship. I suspect people think homosexuality is normal Because they have seen it throughout history.

    The argument, which is IMHO a distortion of Freud, goes like this: The basis of all human relationships is sexual, thus anyone with a friend of the same gender is in a homosexual relationship. Sodomy is simply an extension of this.

    Following your logic then, It is equally shameful for human beings to be hungry thirsty or cold.

    See above: Hunger and thirst are natural desires, homosexuality is not.

  178. robtbrown says:

    Giuseppe says:

    I was thinking about a same-sex couple I know at my last church. They lived together, never had any type of ceremony, did not engage in any form of genital sex. They were attracted to each other and would kiss in private. I heard one speak about the joy of living chastely.

    I didn’t/don’t know how to process all of this. They did not misuse reproductive parts in violation of natural law. How sinful was their kissing? They are living chastely, right? Or no? Is it a sin to live as a couple?

    Perhaps it would be to ask this question: Would their acts of affection be appropriate for heterosexual people married but not to each other?

  179. Imrahil says:

    Homosexuality has not, in any meaningful sense, been seen throughout history. Not in the way of legitimate things; and not in the way of the usual sins (including fornication*). Homosexuality has been present in history as plainly objectively and without moral bias a deviation from an accepted norm. Not that this would necessarily be true for today; yet even today, among such people as do not hide their thoughts (including those favoring the pro-same-sex-”marriage”-agenda, when for a second they are discussing something really different and not with one they know to be antagonist Catholic, and the topic comes up), homosexuality has too much of a “well you know” factor of unnaturality and awkwardness that can not be explained by any supposed (and you know, necessarily unseen because you don’t see them) homophobe brainwashing. All this with nothing but a look on such attitudes as are presently widely hold, without necessity to go either into natural law theory, or Revelation.

    (This is even more true about the same-sex-marriage thing. I’m not quick to say that an attack on the Catholic morality has fighting the Church as primary and not only accidental aim, but here I do think they would not even think of same-sex-marriage if not the defenders of traditional morality were against it. Witness the French example, where they had the [also not acceptable, but nevertheless a good lead less inacceptable] “legalized couple” thing and were not content with it.)

    [*Fornication has been present throughout history, and so has to a degree plain concubinage, and maybe effectual divorce and living-on with some other partner. So also has the violation of chastity in an engaged couple planning to marry (rather soon). Yet the idea of quasi-marriaged couples explicitly refusing the married status is another thing, and seems to me to have a different quality (on the "explicit attitude" sector) than mere lack of discipline, sinful though it is.]

  180. mamajen says:

    @Ann Roth

    I went to a Catholic school and then to a public school. Both had homosexual teachers (the Catholic school had the most), and none shared their private lives with the students. Gossiping parents were most often the source of such information. My son will be going to public school, and I’m not very concerned.

    Apart from the probable speculation due to the female gym teacher stereotype and maybe even her appearance, there is no evidence that this teacher was “openly homosexual” at school or shared any information with her students. She has said that she is a very private person and did not discuss her lifestyle at school. I have no reason not to believe her. The mother who wrote the letter described herself as “shocked” when she happened upon the information. Some people probably speculated and gossiped, which is shameful and their fault, not hers. If she were living openly, then the school had grounds to fire her long ago, and it reflects poorly on them if they ignored it until a parent complained.

    As a parent I can understand why a lesbian gym teacher would be of concern, and I can’t blame the mother for bringing it up. I do think her letter could have been more tastefully written.

    I think the discussion here has been very good. I don’t question the orthodoxy of the very good commenters who are looking deeper into this incident. We Catholics need to ensure that we are behaving in a Catholic manner at all times. If we are more extreme than the Church regarding homosexuality, we are going to make matters even worse for ourselves. If we are wobbly on policy and then suddenly behave in a ruthless manner, we should expect some blowback. I think it’s healthy to examine how this was handled and determine if anything could have been done in a better way–these situations are going to come up again and again, unfortunately. We can play the victim card, or we can get our act together.

  181. mamajen says:

    @Imrahil

    I’m not so sure about that. I guess committed homosexual relationships are, perhaps, a newer thing, especially lived openly, but homosexual behavior is almost as old as time. I’ve read very hair-raising things about ancient Greece and Rome.

  182. The Masked Chicken says:

    I said I would shut up, but you guys just have to keep making good points. Talk about temptation :)

    “There isn’t enough information here to judge the actions of the parent but we do know that the teacher was giving public scandal. ”

    No, we don’t. In fact, proof by counterexample: if the teacher had been giving public scandal, the student would not have innocently brought home the obituary for her mother/father to see and uncover the homosexual relationship – the student would have already known about it and not needed to show her mother, nor, probably, would he have wanted to show her mother the obituary of a public sinner. Moreover, had she known, she would have corroborated the information after her mother reached her conlusion. Apparently, at least Some People at the school did not know about the relationship.

    I know the filth in high schools. I get the end products to teach in an even less controlled environment. Still, there is no reason to assume public scandal was bring given by the teacher. We commenters do not have access to that data and because of the gag order, probably never will.

    That bring said, I want to repeat that the grounding fault in this entire matter is hiring someone who is not Catholic and does not share a Catholic world view to teach in a Catholic setting. Methodists, while decrying homosexual behavior, are, from what I have seen, much more accommodating of these sorts of things, at least in liberal Methodism. Also, their sense of sin is different than among Catholics. One could say the same thing, in general, about other branches of Christianity. There was, in my opinion, sound wisdom in the old, Pre-Vatican II counsel against Catholics marrying outside of the Faith. Differences in Faith structures can have profound influences in how two Christians approach concrete problems. This is one reason why I disagree with Peter Kreft’s arguments in his book, Ecumenical Jihad.

    That being said, I have taught in a Catholic charter school where one of the teachers was not Catholic, but very sympathetic to the sensibilities of the rest of the Catholic teachers. By her actions, one could never tell that she was not, in fact, Catholic. So, I suppose I should refine my comment, above, to say that if the person is not Catholic, but understands the environment in which they work and are willing to support it, they can, in rare circumstances, be hired. Of course, there are bad Catholic teacher and exemplary non-Catholic teachers, but, in general, Catholics have a hierarchy they are (supposed to be) accountable to in a way a non-Catholic isn’t.

    I am not on the side of the teacher. She had to know Catholic teaching on the subject of homosexual relations and she should have recused herself from the position as soon as she decided to act on her disorder. I suppose the HR person who hired her had no clue about the teacher’s disorder, but it might have made things easier in the long run, if a Catholic teacher had been available. They would have had less of an excuse. Of course, given the state of modern Catholicism in the United States, it would be hard for an outside observer to know that some schools are Catholic if the statues were to be taken away. There hardly needs a case of public scandal to see how little difference the Catholic Faith makes in the lives of many people. The Catholic Faith is a Faith to die for, but some people treat the serious moral decisions facing Catholics, today, as if it were the equivalent of choosing between to brands of hotdog buns.

    Ultimately, this teacher was able to get away with feeling comfortable in this school because the Catholicism being taught and witnessed to, daily, was not a Faith to die for. It was merely treated as a choice between catsup and mustard.

    The Chicken

  183. Atra Dicenda, Rubra Agenda says:

    @ robtbrown who said “Re Sins that cry to heaven for vengeance:
    IMHO, three of them (oppressing the poor, unjust treatment of workers, and mistreatment of foreigners) were to be found in 19th century US slavery. That situation triggered a war that produced perhaps 1,000,000 deaths (incl civilians).
    I’m not a gloom and doom type, but I have wonder what will follow from sodomy…”

    See Genesis 19 for descriptions of Divine retribution for sodomy. Literal fire and brimstone. I think individuals who do not personally participate in sodomy, but who give a tacit nod of approval or an accepting glance should consider the fate of Lot’s wife. See Jude 5:7 for a new Testament context for viewing what happened in Sodom.
    See Romans 1 for Paul’s take on sodomy and those who approve of it.

  184. mamajen says:

    @The Masked Chicken

    That bring said, I want to repeat that the grounding fault in this entire matter is hiring someone who is not Catholic and does not share a Catholic world view to teach in a Catholic setting.

    Ding ding ding!

    Also, I think their policy was very weak compared to others I have seen. Sometimes you have to spell out Church teaching for people, especially non-Catholics. The diocesan handbook gives the distinct impression that “it’s only wrong if it creates problems for us”. While I don’t sympathize with the teacher’s new-found “cause”, I can definitely see how she would have felt that as long as she kept her relationship quiet, she wasn’t in violation of the rules. That, and she may have gotten a “liberal” vibe from that particular school, especially if it’s true that they looked the other way while teachers divorced, remarried or had affairs (as I have read in some news articles).

  185. My support to Bp. Campbell. I wish I were living in a country where a school can take an action like this. None of this, and none of what Fr. Fox suggests in comment 3 could happen in the UK.

    As regards homosexual acts, as far as I know the argument for them being normal is not that they are an extension of friendship (I would categorically reject this on account of my best friends being my two siblings) but that apparently homosexual acts happen in the animal world, too. I remember being told by a gay friend (and I have no evidence of this other than his word) that homosexual behaviour, including forming a couple for life, has been observed among penguins; and that same-sex penguin couples have also been observed trying to steal chicks to raise them. If this is really so, it could be one (albeit not a decisive or even very strong) argument for homosexuality being a variation of “normal” sexual behaviour. Not decisive because animals also do things like eating their young, which no one would argue should be considered normal amongst humans.

    And in any case, whatever animals do and even whatever lies easy with us by nature, we live in Christ and by the power of Christ, our Risen Lord!

  186. Imrahil says:

    Dear @mamajen,

    homosexual behavior is almost as old as time
    yes, in the form of (easily recognizable) deviation. Which, to my view, is not the point of saying such things like “has been seen through all ages”. Then someone else says “so has murder”, and then the other says “are you equalizing homosexuality with murder”, and all are unhappy.

    Yet in natural law, what people have on the large scale happened to have done is an important point in figuring out what natural law actually says. This is what “has been done all the time” is supposed to mean this, or it is means outright allowance of anything and the contrary of anything whatsoever (which is unlikely according to human speech), or it means nothing at all.

    And in this sense, homosexuality has not been seen throughout history. It has been seen in Greece and Rome (for men, with an underage slave, and without playing the feminine part – or so I read), and in today’s society. (All the more interesting that Plato, the passionate advocate for male friendships, saw it fit to put most drastic punishments on the homosexual act in his Laws, and explicitly giving religious reasons; but I digress.)

  187. mamajen says:

    @CatholicCoffee

    Normal has a lot of different meanings, and I think a lot of people are mixing up “normal” with “accepted”. Maybe a better word than normal would have been “common”? There are a lot of things that are very wrong, but happen frequently enough, and long enough, that we are not really surprised.

    I have also heard about examples in the animal kingdom. Of course the activists are seizing on that as an example and proof that it’s natural (read acceptable and beautiful). I think if anything it leads credence to the idea that, in some cases, it’s a disorder or inclination that people are born with.

  188. capchoirgirl says:

    @Ann Roth: Slow clapping. Bravo.
    Sadly, a lot of schools in our dioceses have a very liberal vibe. Watterson is not the only one that is like this, and it’s a huge reason why I went to public high school instead of one of our “catholic” high schools. (I graduated from high school in 2000, so it wasn’t toooo many lightyears ago.) Fortunately strides are being made: we have the habited Dominican sisters from Ann Arbor (the “bible game show” sisters) teaching at one of the elementary schools, and I fervently hope they will start teaching in more of our schools.
    Also our current bishop is a fairly large improvement over our last one: he’s done a great job in the short time he’s been here. I think he may have inherited quite a few of these problems and it’ll take time to work through them all, but I hope this is a catalyst for educational reform in our diocese. We must, as many have said here, really up the standards we have for our teachers; namely, that this is a Catholic school, we teach what the church believes, and if you don’t like that, this is not the place for you.

  189. Lucas Whittaker says:

    As I think about the various obstacles that we face, and the evils that confront us, I think about something that Josef Pieper wrote about fortitude and patience. If we are to become victors for Christ and remain under the weight of the cross, then we will need to endure these evils in patience.

    “Enduring comprises a strong activity of the soul, namely, a vigorous gasping of and clinging to the good; and only from this stout-hearted activity can strength to support the physical and spiritual suffering of injury and death be nourished. . . .For [St.] Thomas patience is a necessary component of fortitude. . . .The patient man is not the one who does not flee from evil, but is the one who does not allow himself to be made inordinately sorrowful thereby. To be patient means to preserve cheerfulness and serenity of mind in spite of injuries that result from the realization of the good.

    Patience does not imply the exclusion of energetic, forceful activity, but simply, explicitly and solely the exclusion of sadness and confusion of heart. Patience keep man from the danger that his spirit may be broken by grief and lose its greatness. Patience, therefore, is not the ‘tear-veiled’ mirror of a broken life, but the radiant embodiment of ultimate integrity. In the words of [the new Doctor of the Church] Hildegard of Bingen, patience is ‘the pillar which nothing can soften.’ And Thomas, following Holy Scripture (Luke 21:19), summarizes with superb precision: ‘Through patience man possesses his soul.’ The man who is brave is for that very reason patient as well. . . .The brave man not only knows how to bear inevitable evil with equanimity; he will also not hesitate to ‘pounce upon’ evil to bar its way, if this can reasonably be done (taken from The Four Cardinal Virtues).

    Based on this understanding of fortitude and patience I would say that Bishop Campbell is a brave and patient man. I pray that he is able to continue in patience. But this is a call to us to become patient with him in clinging to the good. We must preserve cheerfulness and serenity of mind in spite of injuries that we will receive and witness. St. George of Lydda, pray for us; obtain for us a greater fortitude and patience so that we might cling to the good Lord who alone brings salvation and human freedom.

  190. Soporatus says:

    Who cares whether this woman ever enjoys the Beatific Vision?
    Is metanoia impossible? How could anyone help her do that?
    Could firing her help? Mandatory counselling? Preaching?
    Probably all illegal. The attack is underway. We’ll see.

    Vade. Et amplius iam noli peccare.
    Go away. From now on, prefer not to sin.

  191. Gail F says:

    Mamajen: You SHOULD be concerned. Ann Roth is right. I suppose it depends on where you live and the particular schools. But one reason I did not send my daughter to a particular magnet school in our district is that I heard from SEVERAL conservative Christian families, including one that had homeschooled up to junior high (the school starts in 7th grade) that there were numerous homosexual teachers with photos of their partners on their desks and who spoke frequently about their homosexuality. This particular school has the students broken up in “communities” that they stay in throughout the school career, and the communities have community meetings every week or so at which they discuss their lives and current events, etc. The father in the extremely conservative Christian family told me that on the first day of school the teacher introduced herself to the students (12 year olds!!!) and said she was a lesbian woman with a “life partner.” As time went on, the boy expressed his opinion on the subject of homosexuality several times and was eventually told not to speak anymore because he was ruining the harmony of their class community. They left the school. Yes, that’s only their side… but I heard similar things from other families whose solution was for their kids to be quiet and not make waves. There are only a few high schools in our urban system that have good academic programs, and the other two are a performing arts school and a “brain” school for extremely high achievers. So these families decided that was their only choice. My daughter went to the “brain” school for a while and we pulled her out when the pressure got too bad (she was getting all As but coming home every day in tears and getting sick again and again) — it had two gay/straight clubs and one day when I went in to pick something up it was “global gay-lesbian-bisexual-transgender awareness day” in honor of the oppressed GLBT people everywhere. I do not think that this is appropriate for 7th and 8th graders — teachers should not be talking about sex in class.

  192. @Mamajen – I agree with you re. “normal” and “common”.
    Also, if it is true that the behaviour exists among animals and is genetic, then it is also taking care of its own disappearance by the very fact that such individuals will be attracted to each other and unable to produce offspring.

  193. acardnal says:

    Not surprisingly, tonight, April 27, “NBC Nightly News” gave a biased report in support of gym teacher Ms. Carla Hale. The NBC reporter: Stephanie Gosk, a lesbian in a public relationship with NBC weekend “Today Show” anchor Jenna Wolf – currently pregnant. It’s not surprising that Gosk’s report did not give an accurate representation of the Church’s position on this matter.

    http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2013/03/27/meet-jenna-wolfe-and-stephanie-gosk-nbc-s-lesbian-power-couple.html

  194. Ann Roth says:

    Mamajen,

    I too think the discussion here has been very good. It almost always is. I love you guys. I love reading this blog and the comments. I comment seldom because others say what I would say but much better. In regards to this issue, I just think some are very naive when it comes to what is the reality in schools. I hope you don’t end up with “concerns” but I think you will. Schools have changed a lot in just the last few years. Of course, not every school is the same but I am afraid that there are not many places left that are anything like we remember. You are much younger than I am but still, there has been a huge change in just a few years.

    I agree that I think this tension between what should happen and how it should happen will continue to come up and it needs to.

    Chicken,

    I enjoy your comments immensely and was shocked(!) to find that I disagreed with you. We can argue all day long about what we think happened and what folks knew or didn’t know but the fact is to a large extent we are speculating. We are not directly involved so we don’t really know. I don’t think the news reports are any more accurate on this story than any other. I do agree with you on this: “Ultimately, this teacher was able to get away with feeling comfortable in this school because the Catholicism being taught and witnessed to, daily, was not a Faith to die for. It was merely treated as a choice between catsup and mustard.” And this is why I support the teacher’s firing since it is past time that we witness to our faith. In most cases, there is no good way to take care of these situations. The Church is going to be made out to be the bad guy. We just have to do it.

  195. robtbrown says:

    Atra dicenda Rubra agenda

    See Genesis 19 for descriptions of Divine retribution for sodomy. Literal fire and brimstone.

    And abortion is worse than sodomy.

  196. mamajen says:

    @Ann Roth

    Just noticed your later comment. Thank you. I hope I didn’t come across as too critical of what you were saying. I really value the little community we have going here, even when we don’t quite agree all the time. I love people who make me think deeply. God bless.