It is well known that the Catholic church has a problem with its young people, many of whom see it as out of step with current views on sexuality. The church has locked itself into its dogma and that is unlikely to change anytime soon but you would think that it would realize that it needs to tread delicately in this area so as to avoid needlessly alienating people with high-handed actions.
You would be wrong. Take the case of Carla Hale, a teacher in an Ohio Catholic school for 19 years, who was recently summarily fired after she returned from the funeral of her mother. Why? Because one of the parents had noticed that the mother’s obituary had mentioned the teacher’s partner and had sent an anonymous letter to the school pointing this out. When students got wind of what had happened, they rallied to the teacher’s side and organized a protest petition that already has 4,000 signatures.
Students said it was known or suspected that Hale was gay, but she did not discuss her lifestyle with students or espouse same-sex issues.
Lindsey Perkins of Dublin, a 2001 Watterson graduate, called Hale a “wonderful teacher and amazing role model” whom Watterson should be proud to have on staff.
“It’s just a very poignant time for something like this to happen, and hopefully for people to start realizing that we need to practice acceptance and humility to all people,” she said.
Peter Clark of Powell, a 2011 Watterson graduate, said Hale was a compassionate, understanding teacher who was fired for something that “has nothing to do with education.”
“It’s a disgusting display of hypocrisy by the education system that I was once so proud of,” said Clark, a religious-studies major at the College of Charleston in South Carolina.
Well done, Bishop Watterson High School! You could not be doing a better job of alienating young people.
Meanwhile remember the story about an openly gay Catholic active church volunteer who was fired when someone sent an anonymous letter saying that he had got married in another state? (What is it with these anonymous letters? Aren’t Christians proud of doing what Jesus would do?) A petition to have him re-instated and signed by 18,000 people was returned by the bishop without comment.
So all in all, a fine week for displays of Catholic cluelessness. Keep it up and you soon won’t have to worry about what to do about young people because there won’t be any in your church.