Catholic morality. Rape children, protect colleagues who rape children, protect the church from all consequences of protecting colleagues who rape children…and make sure to punish people who marry someone the church disapproves of.

It’s impressive, isn’t it? Inspiring? No wonder the church inspires such loyalty.

A Catholic high school near Philadelphia fired a teacher who told administrators he was going to marry his male partner.

The episode is the latest in a string of similar incidents, and it came just a week after New York Cardinal Timothy Dolan said the church is not “anti-gay” but has been “outmarketed” on the issue of gay marriage.

Ah, Timothy Dolan. Timothy Dolan, archbishop and blogger. Timothy Dolan who took to his blog a few years ago to complain that lots of people rape children but everybody shouts at the church. “They do it too!” the archbishop complained, like any toddler.

In this case, Griffin, 35, an alumnus of Holy Ghost who taught languages there for 12 years, was dismissed Friday (Dec. 6) in a meeting with the school president, the Rev. James McCloskey, and the principal, Jeffrey Danilak.

Which surprised him, because they knew he was gay, the two of them went to school parties as a couple.

But McCloskey said in a statement to the newspaper that Griffin’s action violated the terms of his contract, “which requires all faculty and staff to follow the teachings of the church as a condition of their employment.”

And yet…what if “the teachings of the church” were that staff could not marry people of other races? Would such a contract be enforceable? I don’t know the answer to that, but I think the church wouldn’t try to enforce such a teaching. Maybe it should think hard about what “teachings of the church” have changed over time, and why.


  1. says

    Unfortunately, there is currently no state law in Pennsylvania preventing discrimination based on sexual orientation in employment (such a bill was pending before the state legislature a few months ago). But Philadephia city ordinances outlaw employment discrimination based on sexual orientation and marital status, among other things, so I am confused as to how such a contract would be legal in the first place.

    The ordinances do give the following exemption:

    Nothing in § 9-1103 shall apply to a religious corporation, association, educational institution,
    or society with respect to the employment of individuals of a particular religion to perform work connected with the carrying on by any such corporation, association, educational institution, or society of its religious activities

    So if the Congregation of the Holy Spirit attempts to argue that the exemption applies, they would need to give a reason how someone’s teaching languages counts as “connected with carrying on religious activities”.

    Ref. http://www.phila.gov/HumanRelations/PDF/Fair%20Practices%20Ordinance%2010_26_2011.pdf

  2. Al Dente says

    Dolan, your church wouldn’t be accused of being homophobic if you guys wouldn’t be homophobic. If it walks like a duck….

  3. zibble says

    It’s sort of nice, isn’t it, that people like Timothy Dolan have to pretend they’re not homophobic. Obviously, they don’t have to put much effort into it. It just really wasn’t that long ago that people like Dolan were outright calling gays “abominations”.

    Remember, too, when they used to blame gays themselves for being in the closet? “If there’s nothing wrong with being gay, why do they need to hide? They clearly know they ought to be ashamed.” I look forward to every bit that shuckster has to hide and dodge and get even more oiley and weasely. Already they’re whining that they’re the new gays, having to keep their prejudice and lack of empathy hidden in the closet in at least polite conversation. I wonder if they realize it’ll only get worse.

  4. Amy Clare says

    “They do it too!” the archbishop complained, like any toddler.

    I thought the whole point of the church was that they’re supposed to be better than everyone else, though? Aren’t they supposed to be the ones setting the moral example for all us normal folk to follow?

  5. Argle Bargle says

    Amy Clare @5

    It’s hard to be the supreme moral authority when you act in obviously immoral ways. Dolan would have an easier job selling his church’s image if he and it weren’t so blatantly hypocritical.

  6. says

    Dolan said to Fox News: “The church will not give up on the gay marriage issue.” That could be interpreted: ” the church is sticking to its guns, amidst all the USA states that are currently recognising same sex marriages.”

    I note that the school still uses the Pre Vatican Ghost terminology, such as The Holy Ghost Preparatory School whilst referring to the order that run it, as the Congregation of the Holy Spirit. The latter needs to get its act together on more than one account by the looks of it.

  7. Minnow says

    And yet…what if “the teachings of the church” were that staff could not marry people of other races? Would such a contract be enforceable?

    It would be unenforceable from a practical point of view since no definition of ‘race’ could possibly be given that would stand up in court, human race being a social and not a scientific category (it would be like forbidding people to marry uncool people). That is one of the reasons that comparing race to gender/sex discrimination is a bit problematic.

  8. Minnow says

    Although maybe if I had written ‘genders-sexes’ instead we could avoid the squabble we are sliding into about transgendered people.

  9. Minnow says

    That’s why I wrote ‘gender/sex’ and then ‘gender-sex’. But it gets confusing with people using sex and gender so interchangeably. Two sexes was what I was after. And that is the case.

  10. Randomfactor says

    It’s my belief that the Catholic Church doesn’t officially recognize Catholics as married unless they’re “married in the church.” (Or if they remarried after a divorce without annulment.)

    Which leads me to wonder whether any other teacher has ever been fired for his/her intention to marry in a civil ceremony, perhaps someone of another faith–or if they have no problem with that, why they have a problem with THIS particular civil ceremony. Couldn’t they just, at worst, try to ignore the marriage?

  11. FloraPoste says

    It would be unenforceable from a practical point of view since no definition of ‘race’ could possibly be given that would stand up in court,

    Oh, ffs. Yes, race is a social category. It is also the case that racial discrimination in employment is prohibited by law, and courts have no trouble enforcing that prohibition.


    Of course, religious organizations get generous exemptions from those civil rights laws. So a religious group could probably still get away with prohibiting “racial mixing”. Didn’t Bob Jones University prohibit interracial dating until relatively recently?

  12. Donnie says

    @Argle Bargle, thanks! Illuminating read. I loved the historical context that intersex individuals were known in Judaism and Greek culture. I want to study up how intersexbabies are currently treated – immediate surgery based upon parental and societial desires/expectations or letting the child display a preference and/or choice as an adult or informed adolescent.

  13. HappiestSadist, Repellent Little Martyr says

    Unfortunately, Donnie, it’s still mostly the norm to surgically alter intersex babies at birth and coercively assign them into whatever their altered genitals most closely resemble in cis people.