My thoughts on the Firing of Gay Catholic educators.
I have started this post several times. I have started to write about the firing of "Mr. Z" from Eaststide Catholic High School in Sammamish, WA but then I read another story online about another Catholic administrator, teacher, or support staff person who has been fired for being in a gay relationship. It is happening all over the country. Without a doubt in my conscience it is wrong, and fundamentally is a contribution to the evil in the world and not the good.
Yes still I have been asked to blog about this but struggled to find my point of view. I think that the problem is that I don't know why my voice matters to the whole ordeal....So here is my guess of why it matters...I am a Catholic. I am an LGBTQ person loving Catholic (who has at time identified with one or more of those letters) I am a liberal...dissenting from many teachings of the Church Catholic...I have thrown out the bathwater by way of careful discernment on matters of faith and teachings but I keep the baby because my ongoing discernment as a person of faith makes me comfortable saying yes to the gems that are in the Catholic Church.
I happen to know a lot of other Liberal Catholics, but I realize that many of you might not know so many. And, in fact, find being liberal and Catholic to be a paradox. So thus, I am thinking it is this perspective as liberal, Faithful, dissenting Catholic that you find interesting...
So here I am writing about Mr. Z and how he got married to the man he loves and then got fired. If you are not familiar with the story here are some links to catch you up:
From December 28- the PI
Here is the Keep Mr. Z facebook page
Recently the principle, a Catholic Religious Woman resigned.
Here is another write up--
Okay, so here are my thoughts. They are not cohesive or together in the way I might want, but here they are:
- I am not surprised. I wish I could say that I was surprised but the church leadership has a special hatred for homosexuals especially ones who are married. It is sad. It is sick. It is true. I was just totally completely unsurprised by the whole thing.
- My best guess of what happened: Parents
- I don't know ANYTHING but my guess is some traditional Catholic parents (or grandparents) with money called the Chancery (the Archbishop) and then the fallout ensues Maybe it was other teachers or someone's former nanny or your neighbor but whatever the fact is that in this church as it is conservatives with money have a lot of power!
- The School Principal's hands are/were tied. I think that it is easy to toss her into the "enemy" camp. I think it is even easy to toss the Bishop in to the "enemy" camp. But a lot of people didn't have a lot of choice. Dehumanizing this experience isn't helpful. People are making unethical decisions but they are doing so in a complicated place, in a scared place and in a confused place. It doesn't make it okay but being compassionate matters. I don't have sympathy for the Archbishop, who has to defend himself with other Bishops, Cardinals, Popes, Donors etc...but is see the trap...
- And, about The Archbishop of Seattle- he has been very quiet (too quiet), but I suspect in his meeting with the Principal he was not quiet or easy handed. The real story of Mr. Z being fired is about the abuse of power and the heavy handed way that the church operated. I suspect that the Principal was given the option- you both get fired or you fire Mr. Z....I would have appreciated him offering some sort of "We can't change the decision by I know this is hard statement."
- Speaking of Church problems, the Roman Catholic Curia are obsessed with sex. I won't begin to think I understand it but controlling the sexuality, practices, understandings of Catholics is highly important in Catholic-landia. The Churches teachings around sex are outdated, leaning on bad science and fundamentally paternalistic.
- Again, let me say it, The Church hierarchy cares way too much about sex....anyone whose married know that genitals are not what marriage is about! Marriage is about money, change, communication, growth, sorting, listening, sharing, etc. If sex is bad it gets wrapped up in all that stuff but if it is fine (or good) it isn't a big deal.
- There is almost no chance that Mr. Z will get his job back. It takes the church eons to admit that they are wrong...It's not going to happen.
- The Bishops usually make this argument, "they signed a statement that said they will follow church teachings."
- That is true. I worked at a High School in the Archdiocese of Seattle and signed that statement as well. But I was not attending mass every Sunday. I was using artificial birth control. I didn't receive the sacrament of reconciliation the entire time I worked there. I was married legally but no one knew that and I was planning a wedding with family and friends for several months that I worked there. Even more doctrinal central There were times that I was there I would have been hesitant to say that I thought Jesus was the incarnate of God. No one, ever, once asked me about these things. At times I didn't hide my disagreement with these church teachings. Yet, still, I worked there. I worked their without fear of being fired. And some of these things are more "important" church teachings then the moral teachings on Sex. Yet still. I wasn't going to be fired because of my doubts about the trinity.