An Indiana Catholic school has fired a gay teacher under orders from a church leader, The Hill reports.
After nearly two years of “earnest discussion and extensive dialogue” with the local archbishop, Cathedral High School — a private Catholic secondary school in Indianapolis with about 1,200 or so students — has decided to remove a married, openly gay teacher from its staff.
In an open letter posted on Cathedral’s website this past Sunday, Cathredal chairman of the board of directors Matt Cohoat and president Rob Bridges explain why they chose to put a seemingly qualified and presumably capable gay man out of work — a decision they say has been “agonizing” for them.
“Archbishop [Charles C.] Thompson made it clear that Cathedral’s continued employment of a teacher in a public, same-sex marriage would result in our forfeiting our Catholic identity due to our employment of an individual living in contradiction to Catholic teaching on marriage,” the two men write.
The school losing its Catholic identity, they say, would mean losing the ability to celebrate the sacraments with students, losing its affiliation with the Brothers of Holy Cross, and losing their 501(c)(3) status as a nonprofit religious school.
“Cathedral has been a Catholic school for the past 100 years and our Catholic faith is at the core of who we are and what we teach at Cathedral,” Cohoat and Bridges continue. “[I]n order to remain a Catholic Holy Cross School, Cathedral must follow the direct guidance given to us by Archbishop Thompson and separate from the teacher.”
Their decision apparently doesn’t sit well with many Catholics in Indiana.
“I felt it was a disgusting despicable thing that they'd done, and I felt my high school was better than that," Casey Hayes, a Franklin College professor and LGBTQ+ activist who graduated from Cathedral, told local NBC affiliate WTHR. "Now it's David versus Goliath. I think we're at a point where a battle's about to start."