An Indianapolis Jesuit high school is standing by a teacher who the Archdiocese of Indianapolis said should not be rehired after the employee’s same-sex marriage became public. As a result, the archdiocese will prohibit Brebeuf Jesuit Preparatory School from calling itself “Catholic,” a decision the school plans to appeal.
According to a statement from Brian Paulson, S.J., provincial of the USA Midwest Province Jesuits, school leaders learned in the summer of 2017 that a teacher at Brebeuf Jesuit Preparatory School had entered a civil marriage with someone of the same gender. The marriage became known via social media, according to Father Paulson, who said the archdiocese then orally requested that the school not renew the teacher’s contract. The school decided not to honor that request, as the “teacher in question does not teach religion and is a longtime valued employee of the school.”
Father Paulson said that the school disagreed with the archdiocese and that it decided not to honor the archdiocese’s request to protect school staff and because the school considered it interference in employment matters by the archdiocese.
“I recognize this request by Archbishop Charles Thompson to be his prudential judgment of the application of canon law recognizing his responsibility for oversight of faith and morals as well as Catholic education in his archdiocese,” he said. But, he continued, “I disagree with the necessity and prudence of this decision. This is a disagreement between two church leaders of goodwill with related, but distinct responsibilities.”
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