Catholic Church | Discrimination | Education | Missouri

Missouri Catholic School Fires Teacher for Planning Marriage to Partner of 20 Years

Al Fischer, a music teacher at St. Ann Catholic School in north St. Louis County, Missouri, was fired earlier this month after church officials discovered he planned to marry his partner of 20 years. Fischer sent a letter to the parents of his students telling them the news, the St. Louis Dispatch reports:

FischerIn the letter, Fischer tells parents of "my joyful news, and my sad news" โ€” the former being his plans to marry his longtime partner in New York City, and the latter, "that I can't be your music teacher anymore."

Fischer's partner, Charlie Robin, executive director of Washington University's Edison Theatre, told the Post-Dispatch that the couple's relationship was in no way a secret at St. Ann and that Fischer was fired after a representative of the St. Louis Archdiocese overheard him talking to co-workers about his wedding plans.

Shortly thereafter, according to Robin, Fischer was told he would be fired March 9, the couple's 20th anniversary and the day of their planned nuptials. But after Robin posted the news of Fischer's soon-to-come firing on Facebook on Feb. 16, Fischer was fired the next day, Robin said.

The Archdiocese indicated that Fischer signed a Christian Witness Statement, required for every educator in the Catholic school system: "The Christian Witness Statement, which educators sign when applying for Archdiocese work, says all who serve in Catholic education should, among other requirements, 'not take a public position contrary to the Catholic Church" and "demonstrate a public life consistent with the teachings of the Catholic Church.'"

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Comments

  1. Add this to the list of "Reasons the Catholic Church is Becoming Irrelevant." Fewer and fewer parents are going to want their kids in that kind of environment. The trendlines are on our side.

    Plus, what jerks!

    Posted by: seattle mike | Mar 1, 2012 3:44:57 PM


  2. Believe me, this handsome young man will be much better off without the Catholic Church. It's such a bigoted, mentally ill place to be! Get yourself free from the job and from the pathetic ideology! It seeks to DESTROY you!

    Posted by: Dan Cobb | Mar 1, 2012 3:45:16 PM


  3. So I guess if he would have stuck to molesting altar boys like the priests do he would have been fine.

    Posted by: Butch | Mar 1, 2012 3:45:52 PM


  4. There is no place in the Roman Catholic Church for a homosexual unless he is a priest of that church, is dishonestly closeted, has pedophilic tendencies and piddles little boys... then, well, it's OK. You might just get a "transfer". The gay priests don't want ANY competition in trying to get the little boys!!

    Posted by: Dan CobbD | Mar 1, 2012 3:48:05 PM


  5. How many employees have been fired for being divorced??????????????

    Posted by: Ted | Mar 1, 2012 3:48:36 PM


  6. Actually, based on Catholic Church history, it appears to me if he had stuck with molesting altar boys he would have been protected from any disciplinary action.

    Posted by: rayrayj | Mar 1, 2012 3:50:36 PM


  7. If you sign it, then you should adhere to it. He should have left and taught at a school that would accept him for who he is. Why was he surprised? -

    "The Christian Witness Statement, which educators sign when applying for Archdiocese work, says all who serve in Catholic education should, among other requirements, 'not take a public position contrary to the Catholic Church" and "demonstrate a public life consistent with the teachings of the Catholic Church.'"

    Period.

    Posted by: Hollywood, CA | Mar 1, 2012 3:52:22 PM


  8. What an incredibly disappointing story. The school should immediately apologize and offer Fischer his job back.

    If not, families should withdraw their children from their school.

    Posted by: Matt | Mar 1, 2012 3:53:52 PM


  9. The first four comments in this thread (by Seattle Mike, Dan Cobb, and Butch), sum it up pretty well.

    Posted by: Oliver | Mar 1, 2012 3:58:03 PM


  10. How can you openly work in an environment like that? I have to agree with Hollywood; if you sign it, you gotta adhere to it. DADT for the parochial school set.

    I feel sorry for the guy for getting outright fired; I know how tough it is to get a job in teaching ANYWHERE. I think the most he could do would be to bring a civil suit against the pin head that wanted him fired on his wedding day. Site emotional duress.

    Posted by: 99% | Mar 1, 2012 4:02:00 PM


  11. The fall of the Catholic church....in the 21st Century.

    Posted by: Casper | Mar 1, 2012 4:07:58 PM


  12. This is why Catholic church music sucks.

    Posted by: Vint | Mar 1, 2012 4:11:08 PM


  13. how many employees were fired for getting married after losing their virginity?

    how many married employees were fired for using birth-control? by RCC standards, every married female who isn't pregnant every year (or other year) is Sinning.

    *yawn*

    Posted by: Little Kiwi | Mar 1, 2012 4:12:28 PM


  14. @ hollywood,ca
    did he say he was surprised? no. So he should never get married because he took a job as a music teacher? He didn't say he was suing them or anything. he just told the facts so his students would know... as he should of. Getting a teaching job is hard and a contract like this is really shady to start with. He didn't kill someone.. he got engaged.

    Posted by: Vincent-louis Apruzzese | Mar 1, 2012 4:13:18 PM


  15. If such policies are actually enforced, the Catholic Church will become completely silent.

    Just say goodbye to all that nice music, folks, and live with your sad, evil, hating officials.

    Posted by: KevinVT | Mar 1, 2012 4:13:55 PM


  16. so Religious people are allowed all the freedom they want. Anyone not Catholic has to be subject to hostility, losing your job, home, etc....I see how religious freedom works.

    Posted by: paul | Mar 1, 2012 4:18:15 PM


  17. Sorry... but what do you expect if you voluntarily work for bigots?

    Posted by: Jexer | Mar 1, 2012 4:19:37 PM


  18. "how many employees were fired for getting married after losing their virginity?

    how many married employees were fired for using birth-control? by RCC standards, every married female who isn't pregnant every year (or other year) is Sinning."

    Ah, but they kept quiet about it. That makes it OK. Hypocrites are OK. Honest people not so.


    Posted by: Joel | Mar 1, 2012 4:23:33 PM


  19. The key point about his situation is that on the local level there was no problem. That's why he stayed in the job.

    It was the Archiocesan admin higher ups who made an issue of it. Happens all the time. I have a friend who's taught in an RC school in Minnesota for 45 years. Everyone in the school and parish are cool win him and his partner. He just knows he can't be too high profile. Sucks, but on a day to day level life is good.

    Posted by: Bingo | Mar 1, 2012 4:57:10 PM


  20. Are the people who made this sad decision absolutely sure that no music they are listening to isn't composed by gay nor no lyric they sing is written by gay?

    Posted by: Matt26 | Mar 1, 2012 5:04:14 PM


  21. Looks like we are the new "Unclean, Unclean".

    Now what did Jesus say about us ?

    Posted by: JackFknTwist | Mar 1, 2012 6:05:08 PM


  22. Is this school getting a dime of tax payer money?

    How is that Christian Witness contract even legal?

    Once again, the dinosaurs roar as the comet signalling their cultural extinction approaches.


    Posted by: Holly | Mar 1, 2012 6:31:52 PM


  23. wonder if the school uses any taxpayer money

    Posted by: billymac | Mar 1, 2012 6:40:19 PM


  24. WTF did he expect

    it is a catholic school

    I bet he votes repub

    Posted by: say what | Mar 1, 2012 6:48:53 PM


  25. So glad that these cases are being publicized. The headlines should read "ANOTHER Catholic School Fires Gay Teacher."

    Everyone needs to be reminded about this Church's values and doctrine, and that they mean it. Decent people should not work there, should not send their children to their schools, should not enter their hospitals (whenever possible). We will all be better off when that Church withers and its influence wanes.

    Posted by: Jeff in CA | Mar 1, 2012 8:19:25 PM


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