Monday, September 6, 2010

Athletic Director Fired after Same-sex "Marriage".

Google the name Christine Judd and you'll come across a never ending number of stories dealing with Ms. Judd being fired from her job as the athletic director at Cathedral High School after it came to the attention of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Springfield, Massachusetts that Ms. Judd had "married" her female partner in August. You'll be hard pressed to find any articles, however, that support the decision of the Diocese. Most will, like this piece from masslive.com and this update on that story, do their best to slam the Diocese and put the teachings of the Church in a bad light.

Many of the stories will include a portion of the diocese code of conduct from its employee handbook that states, in part:

“Whenever, by public example, an employee engages in or espouses conduct, which contravenes the doctrine and teaching of the Church, such employee may, at the sole discretion of the Roman Catholic Bishop of Springfield, be subject to disciplinary action up to and including dismissal.”

Many of these writers expect the Diocese to overlook its code of conduct and allow Ms. Judd to continue working at Cathedral High School. Codes of conduct and religious teachings mean absolutely nothing to these folks.

In one particular article, Judd was quoted as saying, “I married my partner this summer. I was hoping that my loyalty, my professionalism the last 12 years would supersede the current hypocrisy that has already been shown with the Diocese of Springfield.”

What is that "current hypocrisy" of which Judd spoke?

"Asked to elaborate on her claim of hypocrisy, Judd said she questions if there are lay persons who work for the Catholic diocese who divorce and remarry without an annulment, or employees who use birth control, or men who have had vasectomies, or individuals who are pro-choice on abortion."

Does Judd have a point?

Judd had been working for the school for 12 years. I cannot speculate on whether it was known during those 12 years that she was a lesbian. Being a homosexual is not considered a sin by the Church....it is the homosexual act that is considered a sin. If, in those 12 years, it had been known that Judd was lesbian, this could be overlooked if there was no indication that she was not celibate. An unmarried, heterosexual woman would have been expected to be celibate as well. Judd was not fired for being homosexual, but was fired for "marrying" her lesbian partner thereby making public her non-celibate, homosexual lifestyle.

Would the Diocese fire male teachers who have had vasectomies? Generally speaking, the Diocese would be unaware of which male school employees have had vasectomies; there wouldn't be any sort of witch hunt for these men. However, I'm sure that if a male teacher who had had a vasectomy, had made it a point to "go public" in some way then the Diocese would have fired him as well. Writing an article in a newspaper or blog, announcing that he had a vasectomy and that he believed the Church's teaching on vasectomies is in error, would probably cause a male employee to get fired too.

The same would apply for employees who use birth control or individuals who are pro-choice on abortion. If the Diocese was unaware, then there is little that could or would be done. Publicly advocating birth control or abortion would be a different matter.

Those accusing the Church of hypocrisy are overlooking a key phrase: "by public example".
It's perfectly feasible that more than one employee is engaging in behavior which "contravenes the doctrine and teaching of the Church", but if the Church and/or the students of the school are not aware of said conduct then, of course, there is little danger of that employee losing his or her job.

An article on the WWLP website, states that "Dozens of students and friends of Christine Judd came out to St. Michael's Cathedral to protest her resignation." This should give pause to parents who believe a Catholic education necessarily turns out Catholics who understand and follow Church teachings.

Like Judd, one senior at the school, who supports her, mentioned people working for the school who are divorced. Being divorced isn't against Church policy.......the Church understands that divorce is sometimes necessary. What is not allowed is remarriage in the Church after a civil divorce. Is the divorced teacher remarried? That would contravene the doctrine and teaching of the Church, but simply being divorced would not.

1 comment:

LarryD said...

I found it disconcerting that the students who were interviewed and quoted in the piece seemed to be more loyal to their school than they are to the Church. So what if the woman 'bleeds purple'? How is that going to help her on Judgment Day?

As to the claims of others who aren't living according to Church teaching - you're right on the public example. The other thing is that the other sins mentioned - vasectomy, for example - can be forgiven and the penitent, once forgiven, is no longer advocating for such behavior.