Ohio Catholic High School Principal Fired for Blog Post Supporting Gay Marriage

Mike Morioski, the principal of Purcell Marian High School in Cincinnati, was fired by the Archdiocese of Cincinnati over a blog post he wrote called "Choose Your Battles" supporting gay marriage.

Wrote Moroski:
Moroski

“I unabashedly believe that gay people SHOULD be allowed to marry. Ethically, morally and legally I believe this. I spend a lot of my life trying to live as a Christian example of love for others, and my formation at Catholic grade school, high school, 3 Catholic Universities and employment at 2 Catholic high schools has informed my conscience to believe that gay marriage is NOT something of which to be afraid.”

The AP reports:

Moroski had anticipated the move after refusing to take down the blog post and hiring an attorney. Moroski did not immediately respond to a request for comment Monday, but he told The Cincinnati Enquirer last week that he was following his conscience when he wrote about his support of gay marriage. He said he knew he the post violated the social media policy but doesn’t feel that he violated the teachings of the church.

“I put it up there because I really truly honestly believe it,” he said. “I’m absolutely willing to lose my job over this. The only difficult thing for me now is the students.”

Moroski released a statement on his blog today:

On Monday, February 4, the Archdiocese of Cincinnati gave me an ultimatum after I expressed my personal opinion in support of freedom to marry for gay and lesbian couples. I was asked to resign as assistant principal at Purcell Marian High School, or keep my job until June by signing documents recanting my statements. I was given this ultimatum after I wrote a blog on my personal web page, http://mikemoroski.com entitled, “Choosing Your Battles.” I could not in good conscience recant my statements. The Archdiocese of Cincinnati has now put me on administrative leave with a pending termination.

As a proud Catholic, I’m heartbroken that my belief that all committed, loving couples should be able to make a public pledge to take responsibility for each other for a lifetime has led to this ultimatum. The expressions of solidarity I have already received from Catholic priests, sisters and justice leaders in the community strengthen my faith during this difficult time. Due to my formation in Catholic grade school, high school and three Catholic universities – not to mention my marriage to the best Catholic I know, my relationship with numerous clergy and a devout Catholic family – I have firmly rooted my life in the Gospel principles of love and justice.

After twelve years of working with teenagers whose respect I have earned, I simply can’t teach them the wrong lesson now and deny my convictions. I would not be able to look them in the eye. I have tried to instill a sense of faith and fortitude in all of them regarding issues of justice for my entire adult life. I did not turn down the Archdiocese’s terms in spite of my faith. I turned them down because of my faith.

Moroski had worked at the school for two years after teaching at Moeller High School for 10 years.

Comments

  1. Lars says

    How long until he is one of NOM’s marriage martyrs?? Oh wait, they only care if the perceived bullying and intolerance move in one direction, not the other.

  2. says

    Question: Would he have also been removed had he espoused the Vatican-supported belief that the more than 6 million Jews exterminated in the Holocaust are “burning in Hell for eternity”?

    unlikely. here’s a man who says, essentially, “the doctrine of the church, that is a part of this school’s curriculum, should not be used to affect the laws and lives of people in this country who may not share this particular religious belief.”

    and he then gets fired for it. for understanding how things actually work.

    typical.

  3. says

    I grew up going to Catholic church on Sunday and graduated from a Catholic high school and I agree with this guy in saying that the actual way the faith is presented, there is no problem with gay folks. If anything, I felt like it was a very open, welcoming faith. The whole anti-gay thing they have had going on for the last couple of decades seems much more political than anything.

    I never really believed the whole religion-superstition-mumbo-jumbo part of the faith, thankfully, but I do feel as if the welcoming atmosphere must have been local to my parish and school. Ir doesn’t seem to be a common experience among young gays growing up Catholic.

  4. reality says

    Many American Catholics agree with this principal. It’s a shame the church chooses to shut them out. I am glad he was being a good example for his students and standing by his beliefs for equality.

  5. tinkerbell says

    Maybe the new pope (although why should there be such a thing) will be more in Morioski’s corner, as it looks like the Catholic church needs to start growing up.

    Organized religion is the foe of all true righteousness.

  6. JT says

    I feel like supporting a Catholic who supports gay marriage is like supporting a Nazi who supports marriage equality. It’s nice he doesn’t hate me for wanting the same rights he’s awarded, but he’s still a part of a bigoted institution. He just happens to not as bigoted as the rest. Until he denounces the Catholic church, color me unimpressed.

    It’s like someone in the Klan coming out for gay marriage. Thank you for your support, but you’re still in the klan, and I still don’t want to be associated with you.

  7. Stefan says

    JT–So by that logic anyone who disagrees with any of the policies of the United States should renounce being an American. Institutions are comprised of people. If all the good people leave, then the institution only becomes worse. It doesn’t simply disappear as many of us would like. So, if you’d prefer an even more conservative and more vitriolic Church governing more than a billion people on this planet, then hold to that paradigm.

  8. Chuck Mielke says

    In addition to the gay issues, this is a good example of why the RCC should get out of education. They don’t really want people to think for themselves. “Doctrine über alles!”

  9. eric says

    more catholic hypocracy. toe the line or else. your personal choices must align with church doctrine. BUT it’s okay for Papa Bennie to make a personal choice that flies in the face of divine will. If Mike cannot exercise conscience, the bennie certainly may not. or does being christ’s anointed on earth give you a pass?

  10. Francis says

    The thing is, JT, that religion has been taken over by hateful, bigoted people. Personally, I’m not religious, not a fan of the Bible, but there are more than enough equality-minded and gay religious individuals that set the example than one CAN be religious and believe in God and still hold and promote values that are inclusive and loving………which are ultimately the values that virtually all religious texts express. Inclusiveness, coming together as a human race in the name of God, loving your neighbor. Running away from religion if you believe strongly is not the answer. That’s EXACTLY what the bigots want, for people to run away and leave the church. Instead, Mike Moroski and others of his ilk are doing the right thing, and that is not being silenced and standing up and speaking out for love, and for acceptance within the church, and doing their part to change the culture from within.

    Mike Moroski is awesome, hit him up on facebook or twitter and express your respect for him on making this move. It’s straight allies like Moroski that stand with us who are going to push our movement forward.

  11. JT says

    @Stefan not over “any” policies, no. Though some have left the US and given up their citizenship because of our policies. Institutions can change over time, but let’s not pretend that all institutions are equal.

    I think that’s where we lose each other. You say that if all the good people left the institution, then all that’s left in them is bad.

    I’m saying if you’re in an institution that says millions dying from AIDS is better than the use of contraception, that continues to cover up child rapes and molestations, that dictates women should not be afforded the same rights as men, that believe gays should not be given the same right as heterosexuals, that Jews go to Hell along with all other non believers, then saying you’re for gay marriage is a moot point as far as I’m concerned. The bad far outweighs the good.

    That’s where my Nazi or KKK analogy comes from. It’s like a member of the KKK saying Hispanics actually are people and not “animals”. Great, but you’re still in the KKK. If a member of the westboro baptist church gave money to AIDS research tomorrow, would you get behind him and support him too?

    I’m saying, somewhat inarticulately I know, that it’s nice to support marriage equality, but you’re still a member of an archaic, out of touch, bigoted institution that: sells give out of hell free cards to people, denies evolution, excommunicated Galileo for saying that the Earth revolved around the sun and didn’t absolve him until 1992. 1992!

    It just boggles my mind how people can defend this BS organization. Do you get where I’m coming from? There are good things they do like run food pantries, etc and good people, though I think clearly illogical, but the institution is so effed up, if you floow this system of beliefs I don’t want to be associated with you.

  12. James says

    This is yet another example of the dangers of social media. Workers have been fired for posting derogatory information about their employers. And yes, taking views that are inconsistent with a corporate policy or position can also get you fired. As a gay man who left the Church years ago, I have tremendous respect and admiration for Mr. Morioski. He took a courageous position and understood the consequences. But I do not feel sorry for him. As the principal, he knew his posts would be read by students. And he knew that gay marriage is inconsistent with Catholic teaching. He was also given the chance to remove his post, which not all employers do. By presumably firing Mr. Moriorski, the Catholic Church did what other private employers have done. The lesson is simple: be careful what you post to a blog or website.

  13. Dback says

    He sounds like the true embodiment of a loving, kind, accepting Christian–the kind the Catholics should be venerating as a role model to young people. Instead, he gets canned. Hope the Catholics wind up with a 2-dozen egg omelet all over their face.

    Yoo-hoo, Episcopal private schools in the Cincinatti area! Boy, do we have an administrative candidate for you!

  14. Francis says

    No, James. The lesson is censorship and homophobia still rule in the Catholic church even though based on polls, a majority of American Catholics are not just for marriage equality, but strongly in favor. That’s the lesson to take from this.

  15. says

    Catholic school or not..you’re entitled to an opinion in this country.

    The trolls (same person with different handles) saying he had it coming. YOU’D be the first person waving the “freedom of speech” banner had the roles been reversed and an anti gay professor in a gay friendly school was fired for stating their opinion and exercising appropriate freedom of speech. So don’t even play.

  16. Scott Johansen says

    James-
    You’re about as ‘gay’ as I am a Republican. I love when delusional trolls come on here and pretend to be one of us, then express all kinds of ignorant points that illustrate how conservative they are. Do you really think you’re fooling us?

    This man should hire a lawyer, and what he did was not one bit flawed. Especially considering many in his own church agree with him. EQUALITY is not a partisan or religious issue. You making it one is because you’re a conservative fool. Now own it.

  17. Duration & Convexity says

    @ James
    Nice try trollster, but equating derogatory speech and bashing of fellow coworkers on social media to supporting the civil rights of an oppressed demographic are not even in the same planet of analogy. That right there revealed your trolling cards, and I agree with the other poster; why can’t heterosexual conservatives like yourself just reveal who you are while standing behind your opinions? Why do you come on a gay blog and pretend to be a gay person, then side heavily with bigots, all while maintaining a false facade of LGBT? Are you that insecure in your own opinion?
    This man stood up for fairness and justice. He did not slam or belittle a single entity or demographic, nor coworkers/school.
    You completely misunderstood the narrative of this story.

  18. says

    Catholicism is an illness, and sadly the good kind (like this man) are bullied and berated for having an ounce of rationale behind their brain. Catholic leaders don’t want their followers to ever think for themselves….”or else”

  19. James says

    To Francis, Co-Shirley, Scott Johansen, and Duration and Complexity:

    Reading comprehension is a trait that apparently is not prevalent in the Towleroad hemisphere. To Duration & Complexity, I did not discuss bashing co-workers. I mentioned employees who take positions contrary to their employers or who make derogatory statements about the company they work for. There are a number of legal sites that talk about workers who are fired for making statements that are inconsistent with the position of their employers. Here’s my challenge: go ahead and test my statements. Post a negative comment to your blog about your employer. Use your real name and let’s see how fast you get a call from Human Resources who will describe your post-employment Cobra benefits.

    So to the others who have some modicum of critical thinking skills, let me pose this hypothetical: let’s say Mr. X is an HRC executive. Mr. X writes a personal blog post that says that homosexuality is a genetic defect that causes individuals to engage in acts that are a crime against the laws of nature and God. And let’s say that in the same post Mr. X claims that he abhors any form of discrimination and will fight to ensure equality among all citizens—even gays and lesbians. After all, he loves the sinner but hates the sin. And discrimination is patently wrong. Is there a single person on this site who would seriously argue that HRC would not be justified in firing Mr. X? Seriously? Of course they could fire him.

    The Catholic Church is no different. They are a private organization that can fire people at will.

  20. andrew says

    I have no sympathy for this guy. If he is the principal of a Catholic School and he doesn’t know the Catholic Church”s teaching on gay marriage, he is a moron. If he wants to belong to that bigoted church’s club, he should follow their club rules or do the right thing and quit.

  21. Brent46 says

    “..the expressions of solidarity I have already received from catholic priests…”
    Priests whisper their support and do nothing while Mr. Morioski loses his job.
    I wish priests could get some balls, speak up, get angry and challenge the ignorance and bigotry in the catholic church.

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