More evidence that the controversy over a fired gay teacher at Waldron Mercy has sparked a nationwide debate: A prominent Catholic columnist is calling on Catholic schools to challenge the church hierarchy on such issues.
Jamie L. Manson of the National Catholic Reporter, an independent publication, made the challenge in a column last week. “It is time for us to encourage school leaders, both religious and lay, to refuse to comply with demands that they fire LGBT employees,” she wrote.
“Most Catholic schools seem to have a clear advantage over the bishops. The laity has far more respect for women religious than they do for the hierarchy. The majority of Catholics in the United States strongly support the rights of LGBT people. And more than enough Catholic theologians and ethicists have argued cogently for the full inclusion and equality of LGBT people in the church.
“Why, then, not call the bishops’ bluffs? Imagine the pushback and negative press a bishop would get if he stripped a Catholic school of its identity for refusing to fire an LGBT employee. Imagine the momentum that could be built and the empowering precedent it could set for other schools facing the same turmoil.”
Whether any Catholic schools head Manson’s call remains to be seen.