On the front page of the B Section in today’s Philadelphia Inquirer there is a contrived story about a former Catholic school teacher who was fired once it was discovered that he planned to “marry” his boyfriend. Why is the story contrived? Because it was trotted out to show a pattern of Catholic insensitivity to gay “married” teachers: In the news lately is a story about a woman teacher at a Catholic school who did not have her contract renewed because she said she was “married” to her girlfriend.
Here’s a few nuggets for the ethicists at the Inquirer to think about.
Catholic schools, like all private institutions, sectarian and secular, have house rules. Those who don’t like them are free to go someplace else. That’s what diversity means. No one is forced to teach in a Catholic school and every person who works there knows, or should know, what the house rules are. Those who violate these strictures should be fired. More than that, they should be denied victim status.
Orthodox Jewish schools and Muslim schools have the exact same teachings and policies on gay marriage that Catholic schools have. So why is it that only Catholic schools are chosen for scrutiny?
The teacher who was let go was not a math teacher (though it wouldn’t matter if she were): she was the director of religious education. Does anyone think that religious schools run by Muslims and Jews would keep a director of religious education who rejects Islamic and Judaic teachings?
If a Catholic school fired a teacher found to belong to a racist organization, the Inquirer would be commending it. It may come as a shock to the editors but Archbishop Charles Chaput has no intention of checking to see if they approve of any Catholic school house rules.
Contact the reporter who wrote today’s story, Kathy Boccella: firstname.lastname@example.org