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Watch: Catholic Students Protest Firing of Lesbian Dean


On Friday I posted about Christine Judd, the athletic director and dean of students at Cathedral High School in Springfield, Massachusetts, who was forced out after marrying her female partner. On Friday, dozens of students and supporters came out to protest in her defense.

"Springfield Diocese Spokesperson Mark Dupont says Bishop Timothy McDonnell was not available for an interview Sunday. But Dupont says these students' accusations are just speculation, and this is not a moral issue, but an employment issue. Judd agreed to abide by school policy, which clearly indicates that administration members must uphold the doctrine and teachings of the Catholic Church. 'She has acknowledged to her credit, that she undertook actions this past summer, which were in violation of an agreement she freely accepted. Casting aside what she did, the nub of the issue is that we ask people to make agreements and we ask people to keep those agreements,' said Dupont."


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  1. I have to agree with the diocese on this one. You make a deal with the devil and you get what u deserve. Let this be a lesson to anyone who sends their children to Cathoolic school: it's not the quality of the staff that matters most.

    Posted by: David R. | Sep 7, 2010 8:30:36 PM

  2. Very impressive loopholing there. She agreed to not be gay and since she IS, we can fire her. A student interviewed suggesting casually, and quite astutely that there are divorced teachers at the school that haven't been asked to leave, so, ultimitley heterosexist double standards rule the day.

    Posted by: g_whiz | Sep 7, 2010 8:42:15 PM

  3. The civil marriage should be of no concern to the Diocese since the Church does not recognize civil unions of any kind. In the Church's eyes, Judd's marriage does not exist, so where's the conflict? The same is true for divorce. As long as a divorced couple does not get remarried, the marriage still exists. If one or both partners get married without an annulment, then the remarried spouse becomes an adulterer in the Church's eyes because the previous marriage sacramentally still exists. I doubt every divorced teacher has followed church teaching and either did not remarry or got an annulment. They would also be barred from Communion. This is nothing more than closeted self-loathing clergy and hierarchy deflecting suspicions of their own sexuality by going after gays and lesbians. An employee should not be penalized for exercising a right granted to her by the government, even if that right is not recognized by the Church.

    Posted by: Tim | Sep 7, 2010 9:18:44 PM

  4. Following "church doctrine" is a pretty broad statement. Did it explicitly state that she couldn't get married to another woman?

    Tim also has it right. The Church or any employer for that matter cannot terminate your employment for that which is legally sanctioned by government. This IS the part where marriage equality will likely cross over into religious territory when it comes to employment.

    Maybe someone can enlighten me, but doesn't Massachusetts have some sort of ENDA of their own? If so, wouldn't this violate it or is there a clause exempting religious institutions?

    Posted by: Keith | Sep 7, 2010 10:00:34 PM

  5. Mass attendance in the Archdiocese of Boston is at an all time low of 17% and dropping! The Diocese of Spfld recently closed 17 parishes and it is partly due to conditions such as this one which is driving people away. You cannot teach "Morals" and "Ethics" when you treat people like sub species and 2nd class citizens! The only upright and faithful are the students who stood up to this hypocrisy!

    Posted by: alexInBoston | Sep 7, 2010 10:02:21 PM

  6. Let's see if I get this right. The Catholic Church knowingly retains serial pedophile priests in many countries for (e.g. Ireland) over 20 years, doesn't fire most of them, but allows them to retire or are removed from pastoral duties. All men. Now, a woman (and a lesbian) about whom no allegations of moral turpitude toward students were made is fired. Sounds like just another example of Catholic Church mysogeny and hypocrisy.

    Posted by: SDRicardo | Sep 7, 2010 10:24:59 PM

  7. I think this is another case of the "laity" way out in front of the decadent bishops, and perceiving the truth. ALL American bishops have lost their Moral Highground. They are simply compromised, and NOT able to even speak to this reality. Young catholics have heart, and a much deeper understanding. Truth, not some crazy Catechism from B16 should rule the day. Jesus was about "including" not excluding. More-the-merrier. This is a case of young people knowing what is "real", loving, and true.

    Posted by: Daniel Oneil | Sep 7, 2010 10:37:45 PM

  8. As someone who attended a Roman Catholic school as a child, I know that phrases like "We are all God's children" are uttered by liberal Episcopalians, not Roman Catholics.

    Unfortunately, the Dean has no recourse, imho. I believe, because of the principle of separation of church and state, that no court will interfere with a religious school's employment decision. When throwing the case out, the judges might also mention that she knew or should have known that those would be the conditions of her employment when she took the job.

    For the time being, we live in a country/world where one probably can't be an openly gay dean at a Roman Catholic high school for very long. The individual will suffer in this case, but she has brought our attention to the vile distortions of true Christianity that some of these established churches foist upon us.

    Posted by: Rory | Sep 7, 2010 10:50:11 PM

  9. It's the church's -- any church's -- perogative to believe what they wish and to require it's staff and members to abide by their moral code, even if, in the greater picture, it's unfair.

    If churches, and their parishioners get the idea that we're trying to infiltrate and force them to abide by things they don't believe in, it's only going to make our fight for equality that much harder. They already half-think that as it is, that we're going to force churches to allow gays to marry inside their church, or to be members of their congregation. That's silly, of course. It's silly to go where you're not wanted.

    But the basis of our argument should simply be that we want equal civil rights, separate from churches. It should be 'live and let live' on BOTH sides of the situation. The churches and their religous institutions should be able to worship and believe as they see fit, just as we should be able to marry as we see fit.

    There shouldn't be any interference for us OR them, and I don't believe it would help our cause to attempt anything otherwise. As has been said many times before, she knew the lie she was telling when she accepted the position.

    Posted by: antisaint | Sep 8, 2010 12:37:46 AM

  10. I graduated from this school forty years ago. Their actions do not surprise me. I was suspended from school because my hair was too long. At the end of junior year the powers that be said come September, girl's hair could be no longer than 2 inches below their ears. Having hair any longer made one an occassion of sin for the boys. Yes, you read that right. As far as I know, no boy (or girl for that matter) went to hell because of my long hair. The way they look at the world is primitive at best. There is also a matter of their pride. They will not back down regardless how absurd their rules may be.
    My praise and encouragement goes to the students who have protested her termination. Rather than accepting the herd mentality of the church they seem to be able to think independtly.

    Posted by: Kathleen | Sep 8, 2010 12:48:58 AM

  11. "...we ask people to make agreements..." regard themselves as inferior human beings whose hearts are defective and morally inadequate and whose love is sick and evil.

    "...and we ask people to keep those agreements..."

    Regardless of destructive consequences to themselves or young LGBTQ looking for roles models.

    After all, better for children to commit suicide out of isolation, self loathing, and despair than grow up to challenge the hateful superstitions established by a primitive tribal people 2,000 years ago.

    Increasingly I'm reminded that African Americans made minimal progress in obtaining full citizenship in America until they started setting buildings on fire.

    Burn a church for Jesus.

    Posted by: Bryan | Sep 8, 2010 1:48:24 AM

  12. Bryan: I'm not sure burning their churches would get us anywhere, but read the comment above about eh Catholic Churches closing their parishes. It's a sign of the times. These churches have appealed to division and prejudice. It's one of the sources of their influence.

    Now - things have changed for the Catholics.
    Too much kiddie fucking. There will be others to exploit the dumb and mean. They will always be with us.

    Posted by: Jonathan | Sep 8, 2010 3:45:19 AM

  13. The Roman church has NO RIGHT preaching about morals when they are so morally bankrupt themselves given the near universal child abuse scandals they have been embroiled in over past decades.
    What a shower of outright hypocrisy.
    Yet again it is a case of do as WE SAY not as we do.
    A bunch of whited sepulchers.

    Posted by: Divine Joe | Sep 8, 2010 6:02:31 AM

  14. Kudos to the kids!
    Cheers, Joe Mustich, Justice of the Peace,
    Washington, Connecticut, USA

    Posted by: Joe Mustich, JP | Sep 8, 2010 6:10:39 AM

  15. What happened to we are all God's family? The diocese better do a sweep then if the "RULES" are so important. No priests gettin' a little alter boy ass on the side, No contraception, no adultery, no incest and no spousal abuse come to mind. Whey does this religion - as do so many others - continue to misrepresent God as their alibi? I think the main word from God is "Love one another as you love yourself" Period...

    Posted by: pdxblueyes | Sep 8, 2010 10:32:41 AM

  16. It time these young people discovered what a hateful, bigoted, intolerant, sanctimonious organization runs their school. This is a good life lesson for them, and for every other fair-minded person.

    Posted by: wimsy | Sep 8, 2010 10:55:29 AM

  17. It's high time these young people discovered what a hateful, bigoted, intolerant and sanctimonious organizations runs their school. It's a good life lesson for them, and for every fair-minded person.

    Posted by: wimsy | Sep 8, 2010 10:57:57 AM


    Posted by: justin | Sep 8, 2010 12:47:22 PM

  19. She agreed to abide by Church Doctrine. Which Church Doctrine? Since the First Holy Roman Emperor (The Pope that was also crowned Emperor of Europe) had, at the time of crowning,three wives, at least three known mistresses, and 28 Children,where does this nothing school get off with any rules concerning the legitimate private life of one of its Teachers? How about FULL DISCLOSURE of all of the School's employees and advisers -- From the Pope on down.

    Posted by: Jerry6 | Sep 8, 2010 2:27:16 PM

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