Matt C. Abbott
July 27, 2015
Supporting Archbishop Charles Chaput of Philadelphia
By Matt C. Abbott

Earlier this month, the religious education director at Waldron Mercy Academy, a Catholic school in the Philadelphia area, was fired for being in a so-called same-sex marriage.

Margie Winters, the teacher in question, has claimed that the school principal knew she was in a so-called same-sex marriage when she was hired eight years ago.

What transpired in the weeks prior to Winters' dismissal is murky, but there reportedly was at least one parent who complained to the school's trustees and perhaps to the Archdiocese of Philadelphia, prompting school officials to ask for her resignation. When Winters refused, she was fired.

Not surprisingly, a number of liberal Catholics and non-Catholics have rallied around Winters, ridiculing school officials for being "unjust" and "discriminatory" – and they've been given favorable coverage by the pro-LGBT mainstream media.

Catholic teaching allows for certain instances of just discrimination, particularly in a case where a man or woman is living a lifestyle in open defiance of the natural law.

Charles J. Caput, O.F.M. Cap., archbishop of Philadelphia, released the following statement in support of Winters' termination:
    Schools describing themselves as Catholic take on the responsibility of teaching and witnessing the Catholic faith in a manner true to Catholic belief. There's nothing complicated or controversial in this. It's a simple matter of honesty.

    I'm very grateful to the Religious Sisters of Mercy and to the principal and board members of Waldron Mercy for taking the steps to ensure that the Catholic faith is presented in a way fully in accord with the teaching of the Church. They've shown character and common sense at a moment when both seem to be uncommon.
I submitted the following letter to the editor to The Philadelphia Inquirer (it wasn't published) in support of the archbishop:
    I commend Archbishop Charles Chaput for publicly defending Waldron Mercy Academy's decision to fire religious education director Margie Winters because she's in a same-sex marriage, which is in open defiance to Catholic teaching.

    If the school principal indeed knew Winters was gay and married eight years ago when she was hired (as Winters reportedly claims), I have to seriously question the principal's judgment in hiring her for the position.
I subsequently forwarded my letter to Archbishop Chaput himself. He responded: "Thank you and God bless you."

On the subject of homosexuality, the Catholic Church's official teaching is as follows (from the Catechism of the Catholic Church):
    Homosexuality refers to relations between men or between women who experience an exclusive or predominant sexual attraction toward persons of the same sex. It has taken a great variety of forms through the centuries and in different cultures. Its psychological genesis remains largely unexplained. Basing itself on Sacred Scripture, which presents homosexual acts as acts of grave depravity, tradition has always declared that 'homosexual acts are intrinsically disordered.' They are contrary to the natural law. They close the sexual act to the gift of life. They do not proceed from a genuine affective and sexual complementarity. Under no circumstances can they be approved.

    The number of men and women who have deep-seated homosexual tendencies is not negligible. This inclination, which is objectively disordered, constitutes for most of them a trial. They must be accepted with respect, compassion, and sensitivity. Every sign of unjust discrimination in their regard should be avoided. These persons are called to fulfill God's will in their lives and, if they are Christians, to unite to the sacrifice of the Lord's Cross the difficulties they may encounter from their condition.

    Homosexual persons are called to chastity. By the virtues of self-mastery that teach them inner freedom, at times by the support of disinterested friendship, by prayer and sacramental grace, they can and should gradually and resolutely approach Christian perfection.
© Matt C. Abbott

 

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Matt C. Abbott

Matt C. Abbott is a Catholic commentator with a Bachelor of Arts degree in communication, media and theatre from Northeastern Illinois University. He's been interviewed on MSNBC, NPR, WLS-TV (ABC) in Chicago, WMTV (NBC) in Madison, Wis., and has been quoted in The New York Times and the Chicago Tribune. He can be reached at mattcabbott@gmail.com.


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