The archbishop of Indianapolis has revoked the Catholic designation of a Jesuit high school in the city after administrators refused to fire a teacher who is married to a same-sex partner.
According to a statement released by the archdiocese on Thursday (June 20), Archbishop Charles C. Thompson has sent a canonical decree to Brebeuf Jesuit Preparatory School stating that he will no longer recognize it “as a Catholic institution.”
A separate letter by Brian G. Paulson, provincial for the Midwest Jesuits, detailed how the Society of Jesus has been feuding with the archdiocese over the 57-year-old school for more than two years. The Midwest Jesuits argue that final say over whether to fire the teacher — who does not teach religion — “should be afforded a school sponsored by a religious order.”
“The Midwest Jesuits will appeal this decision through the formal appeal process established in church law: first, pursuing local recourse to the Archbishop, and, if necessary, hierarchical recourse to the Vatican,” Paulson’s letter read, noting that the teacher is considered “a longtime valued employee of the school.”
“I disagree with the necessity and prudence of this decision,” he wrote, later adding, “We disagree regarding the prudential decision about how the marital status of a valued employee should affect this teacher’s ongoing employment at Brebeuf Jesuit.”
The school, too, objected on administrative grounds, calling the archdiocese’s “direct insertion” into an employment matter “unprecedented.” But in a joint statement from the school’s president, the Rev. William Verbryke, and representatives from the board of trustees, it made clear Brebeuf’s position was also based on considerations of conscience.
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Source: Religion News Service