Monday, September 8, 2014

What to do about Marian High School...

...I don't know.

So my social media has been blowing up with questions regarding the “situation at Marian High School”.  For those of you who aren’t in the know (maybe not local), an all girl’s high school in the AoD recently laid off an employee.  A gay chemistry teacher was let go.  She had recently undergone IVF and is now awaiting the birth of her child with her partner.  According to reports, the problem is once she became public with the pregnancy, she also became public regarding lifestyle choices in opposition to the teachings of the Catholic Church.  She was given a couple choices (one of them was to keep her health insurance, another was to stay the year), but chose the lay-off option because of principles.  You know the drill, now she is going to as many new’s outlets who will listen to her story.  And, of course, it’s causing quite a stir. 

I was talking to a friend this morning and I remarked that the situation is quite complicated.  He simply stated, ‘nope, it’s not complicated, the school did the right thing’. 

I’m not saying the school did the wrong thing.

I’m not saying the school did an illegal thing (they didn’t).

But, I do think it’s quite complicated. For so many reasons...

Even if I think the chemistry teacher knew exactly where she worked, and exactly what the expectations were. Even if I think the chemistry teacher signed a contract, and contracts have meaning, and because of the meaning, she knew her lifestyle choices could affect her employment (I do). Even if that frustrates me.

It's still complicated...

You see, the last few decades have seen sweeping changes in our culture and, sometimes,  it's tough to navigate through.  Catholic sexual teaching, up until about fifty/sixty years ago, was just accepted as a norm in society.  Not necessarily because people understood WHAT and WHY the Church teaches as She does.  In fact, most don’t from what I can tell.  (HINT- if you see no problem with a couple using artificial birth control, but you DO have a problem with a homosexual couple because of Church teaching, it’s probably because you don’t understand either).  Anyway, our changing culture demands that we, as Catholics, be consistent in EVERYTHING we are saying.  Because, people are watching.  And being consistent is of the utmost importance, even when it’s tough.

And that’s why I think it’s complicated.

In my response to people asking my opinion, I've been quite scatter brained. I’m not sure where I fall with all of this.   

But, one thing I know for sure is I don’t want to see hurting people, hurt more.  I don’t want to see people feel unloved or rejected by a God who passionately loves them. And so I find this conflict heartbreaking.

I also tend to be really proud of Marian High School, for taking a stand, knowing the backlash they would get, knowing how people would react (because, surely, they knew).  I worked for a Catholic institution that was Catholic in name only (not my previous parish) and there are few things that frustrate me more.  I think it’s a dishonest way to function. 

ANYWAY.  Because I was all over the place, I went to someone smarter than me from spiritualfriendship.org ,  to ask his opinion and he linked me to a fabulous article.

I highly suggest those of you who are interested in thinking critically about our culture and our institutions when it comes to Catholic identity give this article a read.  Tell me what you think.  The article is linked below, this is perhaps one of my favorite parts…

“Pope Francis acknowledged in January in his remarks to leaders of religious orders of men, it is a challenge to “proclaim Christ to a generation that is changing” in its attitudes towards marriage.  He also cautioned that the church should be “careful not to administer a vaccine against faith” to those who live in nonconforming relationships or hold views that conflict with church teaching”


Read more here…THE ETHICS OF EXIT   and give me your thoughts below or on 'thefacebook', but, you know the drill, do it respectfully or your comment will be deleted.  


  1. just wanted to say thank you for bringing this up. I had no knowledge - of course I don't really have extra time to sabotage my sleeping by watching any news at this point either (a whole nother topic!) BUT - I do plan to read up on this (thanks for the link and doing the leg work for me!) and to have my almost 15 year old son read it as well. It seems this might be a very interesting discussion to have.
    I will try to remember to get back to you on my more-educated thougths after our reading and discussing.

  2. I guess I agree with the school because she knew the policy. Whether we agree or like it, it was the policy. Change the person, place, or orientation, it doesn't matter. No matter where you work the expectations are you follow their mission statement. Thanks for the thought provoking discussion.

  3. On the surface is seems to me that the school handled the issue well, but this person took advantage of the current climate in the media. I find myself very frustrated by these types of stories because this woman chose to work in a school whose contract was in direct violation of her moral code. What if it were a different issue? Would anyone work for a company that stated that blood transfusions were in opposition to correct moral living, and therefor participating in a blood drive would be cause for termination? I would imagine not unless one were a Jehovah's Witness, or was otherwise unable to give or receive outside blood. So while it does seem harsh to fire a pregnant woman, it is also manipulative to put one's employer in a situation where they have to choose between the moral code of conduct or being lambasted in the media.

  4. The school did the right thing. Her actions seem manipulative to me.