Uproar over a gay teacher fired by Indianapolis Catholic school highlights ongoing divide


June 25, 2019

By Ashlie D. Stevens

Last Sunday, Cathedral High School in Indianapolis, Ind., posted an open letter on their website addressed to the “Cathedral Family.” In it, the school’s president Rob Bridges and board chair Matt Cohoat announced the school would be terminating the employment of an openly gay teacher.

“Archbishop Thompson made it clear that Cathedral’s continued employment of a teacher in a public, same-sex marriage would result in our forfeiting our Catholic identity, due to our employment of an individual living in contradiction to Catholic teaching on marriage,” Bridges and Cohoat wrote.

This decision caught the attention of national media, especially as another Catholic school in Indianapolis, Brebeuf Jesuit Preparatory School, had severed ties with the archdiocese just days before, after refusing to fire their openly gay teachers.

The Cathedral decision is the result of a months-long deliberation process that reveals building tension between progressive Catholics — especially younger ones — and conservative church leadership, and raises questions about what Catholic communities, and politics in those communities, will look like in the coming decades.

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