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" — 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.'"

Comments

  1. seattle mike says

    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!

  2. Dan Cobb says

    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!

  3. Dan CobbD says

    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!!

  4. rayrayj says

    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.

  5. Hollywood, CA says

    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.

  6. Matt says

    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.

  7. 99% says

    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.

  8. says

    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*

  9. says

    @ 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.

  10. says

    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.

  11. paul says

    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.

  12. Joel says

    “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.

  13. Bingo says

    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.

  14. Matt26 says

    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?

  15. Holly says

    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.

  16. Jeff in CA says

    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.

  17. uffda says

    Sorry Mr. HOLLYWOOD – there’s no such thing as “Period” anymore. The Catholic Church should be soundly, roundly and continually attacked, mocked, castigated, challenged, hounded, petitioned and smacked upside its collective head until it rescinds its oppressive dictates. It has changed its position on many things over the centuries, as it ought. It will change regarding gay people as well, making heros, if not saints, of those like Al Fisher.

  18. redpineWI says

    The Catholic Church’s Just War Doctrine condemns preventative wars, that is instigating war when there is no present danger and only a perceived future danger. Accordingly, the Catholic church declared that the U.S. war against Iraq was not just. Has St. Ann Catholic School similarly fired all supporters of the war in Iraq and banned the hiring of Iraq war veterans? I’m sure not. Their moral agenda is hypocritically applied. They appear to only really get excited when the issue involves sex.

  19. GregV says

    I have numerous friends who teach in Catholic schools, and for 100% of them, the whole thing is a sham.
    They tell the students one thing in class and then tell their friends away from school that they know that everything they tell the students is a pile of crap.

    I have also had numerous friends and acquaintances who survived growing up in Catholic schools. They grew up naive and ignorant about a whole range of subjects, especially anything to do with sexuality.

    For example, several of my Catholic friends arrived at college completely oblivious to whether they had ever been circumcized and beleiving that “heterosexual” means having both a penis and a vagina.
    One told me he was devastated by a nocturrnal emission which made him think he was ill, and another was taught to never look in the mirror or look down when he was naked because it would be wrong to see what his entire body looks like.

    Some of them eventually learn things and get over the misinformation. And some of them end up like Santorum or Stacey Campfield of Tennessee, perpetually unable even as an adult to discern truth from fiction and basing their worldviews on the fictions.

    This whole Catholic system is sick. Nobody should subject their kids to it.

  20. Tom in long beach says

    I am sure that is no secrete here that many many church music teachers and musicians are gay…. So many people living double lives. I could never do it. Rather sling hash and not have to lie about my life.
    Like so many others say, seems like the gays are the only ones being singled out for “bad behavior”. Hope this guy gets a great new job.

  21. Mike says

    Yes, child molesting priests should be forgiven and protected, but a gay music teacher is beyond redemption and must be fired. God has a warm place for some members of the Catholic church.

  22. cka2nd says

    Getting married half-way across the country is not taking “a PUBLIC position contrary to the Catholic Church” or demonstrating “a PUBLIC life” inconsistent “with the teachings of the Catholic Church [emphasis added].”

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