Friday, July 12, 2019

Teacher Sues Archdiocese For Directing Catholic High School To Fire Him Over Same-Sex Marriage

Catholic Herald reported yesterday on a lawsuit filed against the Archdiocese of Indianapolis by Joshua Payne-Elliott, a former teacher at Cathedral High School. The suit charges interference with the teacher's professional relationship with the school. The Archdiocese directed the high school to terminate Payne-Elliott's contract after he entered a same-sex marriage. The school made it clear it was following the directive in order to avoid the Archdiocese withdrawing recognition of the school as Catholic. One day before filing his lawsuit against the Archdiocese, the teacher reached what was apparently a friendly settlement with Cathedral High School. The school is helping him find a new teaching position. In response to the lawsuit, the Archdiocese issued this statement:
In the Archdiocese of Indianapolis’ Catholic schools, all teachers, school leaders and guidance counselors are ministers and witnesses of the faith, who are expected to uphold the teachings of the Church in their daily lives, both in and out of school. Religious liberty, which is a hallmark of the U.S. Constitution and has been tested in the U.S. Supreme Court, acknowledges that religious organizations may define what conduct is not acceptable and contrary to the teachings of its religion, for its school leaders, guidance counselors, teachers and other ministers of the faith.