Over the weekend we reported the dismal news that Michael Griffin, a gay teacher in Bensalem, Pa., was fired from Holy Ghost Prep after telling his boss that he was going to apply for a license to marry his partner of 12 years. I followed it up with a bland response from the school, in which the school’s employee conduct policy was used as the reason for the firing.
Now the school’s headmaster, James McCloskey, has issued a message that was emailed to alumni and posted on the school’s website. Thanks to former student Robert Nectan Schell for the heads up. It reads as follows:
In recent days, our school has been the subject of news stories arising from the decision to terminate the employment of Mr. Michael Griffin as a teacher at Holy Ghost Prep. We acknowledge that this decision has been difficult for everyone involved – for Mr. Griffin certainly, but also for students, families, faculty and staff, our alumni and all who are a part of the Holy Ghost community. We regret the pain that this has caused to any and all involved.
In response to press questions about this matter, the school issued the following statement on Saturday, December 7th. The statement is as follows:
“At a meeting in my office yesterday (December 6th), teacher Michael Griffin made clear that he intends to obtain a license to marry his same sex partner. Unfortunately, this decision contradicts the terms of his teaching contract at our school, which requires all faculty and staff to follow the teachings of the Church as a condition of their employment. In discussion with Mr. Griffin, he acknowledged that he was aware of this provision in his contract, yet he said that he intended to go ahead with the ceremony. Regretfully, we informed Mr. Griffin that we have no choice but to terminate his contract effective immediately.”
I have included the statement in an effort to keep everyone in our school community fully informed about this matter, and we will continue to do so as we move forward.
Fr. James McCloskey, C.S.Sp.