NcR (National catholic Reporter, Not Catholic Reporter, National catholic Fishwrap, National Catholic Distorter – the nickname list keeps growing) knows the end is near for the “big fight” they’ve had going on in their minds over who the Catholic Church must or mustn’t fire. Sorry NcR, you lose. You still don’t get to dictate to the Church, the Supreme Court, or any of the other entities you megalomaniacs would like to.
Here’s another stab by Jamie Manson (http://www.donotlink.com/g5vi):
Catholic schools must refuse to fire LGBT employees
Jamie L. Manson | Jul. 29, 2015 Grace on the Margins
First comment? Jamie how about you just retitle your column to “How Far Can I Go Past the Margins Before I Admit I’ve Joined the Heretics?” There’s no “Grace” involved. There’s just you, acting like a petulant teenager, pushing the limits of obedience.
It’s beginning to feel like every week brings a new story about the firing of an LGBT employee from a Catholic institution.
Really? Every week? Can you say “exaggeration?” I realize that you might think that ALL teachers fired suffer from same-sex attraction, but you might be confusing the reasons some were fired. You can Google (or use some much less offensive search engine), but I think you might have a bit of trouble finding those weekly stories.
The most recent well-publicized termination happened earlier this month at Waldron Mercy Academy in Philadelphia. The school declined to renew the contract of Margie Winters, the school’s director of religious studies, when it came to light that she is in a same-sex marriage.
Winters, who has been with the school for eight years, says her administrators were well aware that she was married to a woman. It wasn’t until two parents complained to the Philadelphia archdiocese that she was terminated.
Well, thanks for something I hadn’t even noticed before: she was the school’s director of religious studies??? The school’s director of religious studies who was publicly committing a mortal sin with no intent to stop?!? She was so astute in her knowledge of religious studies that she didn’t notice that little part in the Catholic Catechism where it says that homosexual acts are gravely evil?? Winner!
Now, in Margie’s defense, she shouldn’t have been hired in the first place. That said, Jamie Manson seems to be neglecting to tell you the fact that the principal told her to make sure that her private life didn’t become public. Apparently Margie managed to do that for quite a while until two parents found out and rightfully complained that it might not be too consistent with the Catholic education for which they were paying!!! Those mean old parents! Imagine their nerve, expecting the Catholic Faith to not be contradicted by example in said Catholic school.
In the wake of Winters’ firing, many commentators have suggested that bishops and Catholic institutions need to show greater mercy and compassion in dealing with its lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender employees.
How about mercy for the souls of the children who are being harmed by other peoples’ lifestyle choices and those who are simultaneously being denied authentic Catholic teaching? Heaven forbid we think about them! Let’s just focus on those who would like to contradict the Catholic identity of the schools at which they teach.
Waldron Mercy did show sensitivity and acceptance of their lesbian employee. They kept Winters on staff and valued her contributions to the students and the school community.
Again, Ms. Manson, let’s just admit the “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy they had in place worked until Ms. Winters simply didn’t abide by it. Don’t act like it was a sudden about-face on the part of the school. Ms. Winters freely admits she was told not to let her relationship become public with the students and parents. This has been reported in other publications but, not so surprisingly, not by NcR. (http://www.donotlink.com/g66y)
But once the complaint was made to the archdiocese, Waldron Mercy, like most Catholic institutions caught in a similar dilemma, felt forced to terminate their employee.
Like I said, she should have never been hired in the first place, since it was such a conflict of interest. Parents were inevitably going to find out and be upset.
Winters’ story sheds light on an important and overlooked truth: Even a Catholic institution that strives to be inclusive and nurturing can’t protect an LGBT employee. As long as Roman Catholic doctrine teaches that same-sex relationships are sinful and a violation of God’s plan for humanity, LGBT employees will not be safe in their jobs in Catholic institutions.
Uh, right. You don’t get to advertise for Pepsi when you work for Coke. How many times have you heard that people teach by example? All the time, unless it has to do with some liberal cause. Then, of course, you’re not to watch what they are doing. You are just supposed to embrace it because they’re not actually teaching.
Nevertheless, it is important to examine why Waldron Mercy’s administrators may have felt compelled to fire Winters.
At this point, I just have to ask why every sentence of “Grace on the Margins” is its own paragraph. I mean, I’m far from a grammar snob, but this is just ridiculous! Sorry, just the homeschool mom in me. You know that it’s bad when I actually notice it, despite my lack of a master’s from Yale.
The possible answer can be gleaned from a letter sent to parents by the school’s principal, Nell Stetser. According to Philadelphia magazine, Stetser praised Winters’ contribution to the school but explained, “As WMA’s principal, however, my duty is to protect our school’s future. In the Mercy spirit, many of us accept life choices that contradict current Church teachings, but to continue as a Catholic school, Waldron Mercy must comply with those teachings.
Near the conclusion of the letter, Stetser writes, “I realize some disagree with my decision. I believe, however, I have acted in the best interest of the Waldron Mercy community and preserved our heritage as a Catholic school. We are not alone in this plight.”
While not saying it explicitly, Stetser’s letter strongly suggests that a serious threat was looming over Waldron Mercy if they refused to fire Winters. Though few Catholic schools will go public about it, the truth is that many of them are forced to fire LGBT employees because the presiding bishop threatens to revoke their canonical status.
“I have no fact regarding any threats, but I’m going to say that it looks like the mean old patriarchy made them do it.” Really, Ms. Manson? Your lack of Catholicism and integrity is showing. Personally, I would find it very nice if the Catholic identity of every Catholic school dissenting against Church teaching were threatened (*cough* Georgetown *cough*), but more likely the diocese pointed out that it was contradictory, and the school accepted that advice.
According to Canon 803 §3, “No school is to bear the name Catholic school without the consent of competent ecclesiastical authority.” That “competent ecclesiastical authority” is the bishop who presides over the diocese in which the school is located, even if a religious community sponsors the school.
Oh, for heaven’s sake! If you’re going to quote Canon Law, let’s really quote it, shall we? You quoted the part that fits your conspiracy theory but conveniently left out the bishop’s DUTY in the matter. Let me enlighten you:
Can. 804 §1. The Catholic religious instruction and education which are imparted in any schools whatsoever or are provided through the various instruments of social communication are subject to the authority of the Church. It is for the conference of bishops to issue general norms about this field of action and for the diocesan bishop to regulate and watch over it.
- 2. The local ordinary is to be concerned that those who are designated teachers of religious instruction in schools, even in non-Catholic ones, are outstanding in correct doctrine, the witness of a Christian life, and teaching skill.
Can. 805 For his own diocese, the local ordinary has the right to appoint or approve teachers of religion and even to remove them or demand that they be removed if a reason of religion or morals requires it.
Ms. Manson then goes on to try to pull at the faithful’s heartstrings:
A loss of canonical status would, of course, have financial repercussions, such as the loss of funding or even the loss of the school’s property. Even more tragically, it has sacramental consequences. It is unlikely that the Eucharist or the sacrament of reconciliation could be celebrated at the school, for example.
Bahahaha! Do you really expect us to believe that you are worried about the Eucharist or the Sacrament of Reconciliation??? That is rich! If you were truly worried about that, wouldn’t you also be worried about the soul of Margie Winters and the children who are confused by her public witness of dissent? Let’s be a little honest. The only sin that exists for you is when Catholics uphold the teachings of the Church. I really don’t think confession is high on your priority list. You’d actually have to believe in sin. You should have stuck with the money angle. Now that’s believable.
It is unclear what role Philadelphia Archbishop Charles Chaput had in the termination of Margie Winters and whether he, in fact, threatened to revoke Waldron Mercy’s canonical status. In media statements, the archdiocese denied it had any involvement with the firing, but a statement Chaput released praised the school for the action and does suggest that the school’s canonical status may have been in jeopardy.
“Schools describing themselves as Catholic take on the responsibility of teaching and witnessing the Catholic faith in a manner true to Catholic belief,” Chaput wrote.
“I’m very grateful to the Religious Sisters of Mercy and to the principal and board members of Waldron Mercy for taking the steps to ensure that the Catholic faith is presented in a way fully in accord with the teaching of the Church,” Chaput continued. “They’ve shown character and common sense at a moment when both seem to be uncommon.”
Thanks for clarifying, again, that you have no factual evidence for your suppositions. Also, “Boo!” for parsing of Archbishop Chaput. Here’s the whole thing. Not sure why you chose to leave stuff out and rearrange a bit, but I do have some ideas! (Emphasis on what NcR chose to leave out is all mine! Anyone surprised the “honesty” part was ditched?)
Schools describing themselves as Catholic take on the responsibility of teaching and witnessing the Catholic faith in a manner true to Catholic belief. There’s nothing complicated or controversial in this. It’s a simple matter of honesty.
I’m very grateful to the Religious Sisters of Mercy and to the principal and board members of Waldron Mercy for taking the steps to ensure that the Catholic faith is presented in a way fully in accord with the teaching of the Church. They’ve shown character and common sense at a moment when both seem to be uncommon.
Ms. Manson could have saved us all a lot of time and summed it all up in this next sentence instead of repeating it over and over with conjecture tossed into the mix.
We don’t know what role the archdiocese actually played in this specific case;
Yes, you’ve already mentioned the fact you don’t have a clue.
however, as anyone who’s worked in the church knows, the views and priorities of a bishop or archbishop who is a strong leader, which Chaput certainly is, are well known within his administration. In his post-action statement, Chaput makes clear his thoughts on these types of cases in general: “There’s nothing complicated or controversial in this.”
Post-action statement? They just can’t help but imply, can they?
If a school feels forced to choose between terminating a person’s career and forfeiting its Catholic identity, which the principal’s statement seems to say, that would be an especially menacing form of bullying.
Jamie – can you please provide me a list of schools who’ve had to forfeit their Catholic identity under Archbishop Chaput? I mean, it happens all the time, right? You folks over there at NcR seem to enjoy whipping up hysteria.
Darker still is the irony that a Catholic school would have to prove its identity by destroying an LGBT employee’s livelihood.
Darker still? If you were my teenager, my husband would be telling you to drop the drama just about now. Yes, we get it. You don’t want schools to follow Canon Law nor do you want them to have a Catholic identity. You just want them to be expensive secular schools full of little elitists like yourself. Gotcha!
So what can be done in the face of so much injustice?
Martin Luther King Jr. said, “One has a moral responsibility to disobey unjust laws.” No amount of mercy or increased sensitivity will defeat the injustice and indignity of the church’s teachings on LGBT people and same-sex relationships. Only a change in doctrine will protect the jobs of LGBT employees.
Oh, no, she didn’t! To my black friends, I apologize on behalf of this liberal idiot for invoking MLK to support the LGBT movement. I’m reasonably sure she just offended at least half of the King family. She also might want to “Google” Alveda and Bernice King before she even remotely suggests that MLK’s struggles and the struggles of the LGBT club are on the same planet. Please feel free to email her your thoughts at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Next, Jamie, you might want to read up on Charles Lwanga. I’m sure he’s not so popular over there at NcR, either.
Finally, Doctrine = Truth! How is it that you write for a publication with “Catholic” in its name and don’t understand that TRUTH DOES NOT CHANGE! I mean, this is Catholicism 101!
It is time for us to encourage school leaders, both religious and lay, to refuse to comply with demands that they fire LGBT employees.
Where are the demands that LGBT employees be fired? Like we’ve all said ad nauseam, we don’t want to know your sins. Don’t make them public (as Margie Winters didn’t do for 8 years) and you’d have no reason to be fired.
Many Catholic schools were founded by women religious. The sisters have a remarkable history of protesting nuclear weapons, racial injustice, income inequality, prison conditions, human trafficking, the death penalty and environmental degradation.
Perhaps she missed the lovely sisters at Marin Catholic High School walking out as LGBT literature was being handed out. Now, those ladies are awesome! Hope we get more of them!
With such a legacy behind them, why would Catholic schools willingly participate in the radical injustice of terminating the vocations of its devoted LGBT employees and subject them to such financial instability and deep humiliation?
Wait! First she brings up MLK, and now she’s comparing women religious with “married” lesbian teachers? Somebody might want to teach her what “similar” means.
Most Catholic schools seem to have a clear advantage over the bishops. The laity has far more respect for women religious than they do for the hierarchy. The majority of Catholics in the United States strongly support the rights of LGBT people. And more than enough Catholic theologians and ethicists have argued cogently for the full inclusion and equality of LGBT people in the church.
Uh, where do women religious come into it? Are you under the impression Margie Winters is a woman religious? This is coming out of nowhere. Also, your “more than enough” line of thinking really shows your lack of Catholic knowledge again. “More than enough” people argued that killing Christ was a good thing. I suppose you’d have been right there with the crowd yelling, “Crucify Him!” Again, Truth is Truth! It doesn’t change by popular vote.
Why, then, not call the bishops’ bluffs? Imagine the pushback and negative press a bishop would get if he stripped a Catholic school of its identity for refusing to fire an LGBT employee. Imagine the momentum that could be built and the empowering precedent it could set for other schools facing the same turmoil.
What bluff??? Do you actually think the Church should be swayed by “negative press”? Of course you do! That’s why you and the rest of the NcR ilk are trying so darn hard. You are so full of yourselves! You seem to think that you are going to collapse 2,000 years of Catholicism with “negative press.” Move along!
Yes, the risks of disobeying a bishop are serious, but unless we as a community of women religious, Catholic school board members and administrators, parents and students, and progressive Catholics join together to say “no more” to these unjust doctrines and degrading firings, substantive change will not happen.
Are you a card-carrying member of “Stop Patriarchy?” You’ve quite glaringly excluded those pesky priests. Also, seriously, how do you study Catholic theology at Yale and be so woefully ignorant? (That was rhetorical!)
Yes, Jamie, disobedience to a bishop is serious stuff. It’s also serious stuff to encourage others to disobey. The penalty goes far beyond loss of Catholic identity but it doesn’t seem you comprehend anything of the spiritual sort.
For the sake of the integrity of our church and the future of Catholic education, it is time to defy the threats and bullying, have the courage of our convictions, and refuse to perpetuate this injustice inside the walls of our Catholic schools.
For the sake of integrity??? You packed away your integrity a long time ago, Jamie. How about, for the sake of integrity, you admit that you don’t have a clue about the teachings of the Church that you are trying to subvert on a daily basis? The only bully here is you and your pals who think you should be able to walk in the doors of a Catholic school and have everything spin around your whims instead of Canon Law and Catholic Tradition.