I will never understand Catholicism. On the one hand, they claim to be all about the babies: procreate wildly, let nothing interfere with the spawning. On the other hand, though, they promote deep ignorance and confusion about sex and reproduction, as if they’re afraid of it.
So here’s this lovely case of a teacher at a Catholic school in Indiana who was evaluated as excellent in her work, but who, in her lawfully married and entirely conventional life with her husband at home, wanted to have children — something that ought to be fully copacetic with Catholicism. Except…she had a medical condition that made her infertile, so she and her husband were going through in-vitro fertilization.
Which meant, of course, that the priest at the local Catholic church had the right to meddle.
“On May 24, 2011, Herx, her husband, and her father met with Msgr. Kuzmich and [St. Vincent Principal Sandra] Guffey,” the complaint states. “Msgr. Kuzmich repeatedly told Herx that she was a ‘grave, immoral sinner‘ and that it would cause a ‘scandal’ if anyone was to find out that St. Vincent de Paul had a teacher who received fertility treatment. Msgr. Kuzmich told Herx that this situation would not have occurred had no one found out about the treatments, and that some things were ‘better left between the individual and God.'”
The end result: despite the priest saying that “her performance had nothing to do with the decision to terminate her employment”, she was fired for “improprieties related to Church teachings or Law.” An appeal farther up the hierarchy failed as well, because she’s just plain evil.
“Bishop Rhoades refused to renew Herx’s contract, stating that ‘The process of in vitro fertilization very frequently involves the deliberate destruction or freezing of human embryos,’ and ‘In vitro fertilization … is an intrinsic evil, which means that no circumstances can justify it.’ Herx’s appeal to the Bishop was the final step in the administrative appeals process within the Diocese.”
There’s a bit of lashing out going on now, too.
Herx says she was fired even though the defendants still employ teachers who do not regularly attend Catholic mass; who are divorced (including Guffey); who have had hysterectomies, vasectomies and other procedures that have altered their reproductive organs; and who use contraceptives.
Nobody should be fired for those things, either.
It seems to me that the problem is that the church is playing the role of a secular employer in what ought to be a secular profession, the education of children, while trying to impose arbitrary and obsolete medieval religious rules on its employees. I propose a simple change: seize the Catholic schools, remove the priests from control, and manage them as assets of the community’s public school system.
Do this everywhere for all religious schools, not just the Catholic ones. The strengths of those schools have always been in the teachers, not the dogmatic nitwits in the religious hierarchy who mismanage them. It also ought to be considered a violation of basic civil rights when an employer decides that they have the power to regulate the private, personal behavior of all employees at all times, even when they are not on the employer’s time and property — they have no right to interfere to such an egregiously excessive extent.