Missouri Catholic Diocese Asks Food Pantry Worker To Resign After Discovering Her Wife

When an April 30 profile in a local news-magazine outed lesbian Colleen Simon (pictured left) by mentioning her lesbian wife (pictured right), the Catholic Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph asked Simon to resign as their social ministries coordinator. But Simon has refused and continued her work in St. Francis Xavier Church’s food pantry.

SimonThe Kansas City Star reports:

Simon’s work as coordinator of social ministries was profiled April 30 in The Star’s 816 news-magazine. The article highlighted Troost Avenue — its history and the many interesting people dedicated to its vibrancy today.

Colleen Simon and her wife, the Rev. Donna Simon of St. Mark Hope and Peace Lutheran Church, were mentioned deep in the story, along with the fact that they are a married couple.

The freelance writer didn’t intend to out the couple. They bear no grudge to her, nor to the priest currently serving St. Francis. The Simons have never hidden their marriage (in Iowa on May 19, 2012).

Rather, Colleen Simon kept a don’t-ask, don’t-flaunt attitude. She said she told the pastor who hired her in July 2013 (he is no longer at the parish) of her marriage. But day to day, she avoided pronouns that would highlight it, substituting “my spouse” or “my beloved.”

“You don’t want your legacy to be one of division and ugliness,” she said. “It’s awful. But there are laws, and until that law gets changed in the church, it is what it is.”

The 58-year-old Simon has reportedly refused to resign and will not leave her position until the Diocese fires her. She maintains that her decision is pragmatic, since she is a three-year survivor of Hodgkin’s lymphoma with many unpaid medical bills. As an older adult, she worries she won’t be able to find a new job very quickly.


  1. Bob K says

    Over and over I write:


    Every week that Gays and their friends and family sit in the pew in silence is another week when the oppression continues.

  2. David From Canada says

    Good for her by refusing to leave and staying in the organization – this is how you make change from within. She is very brave.
    I strongly suspect that this church will back down because of her strong attitude and all the adverse publicity they would get.

  3. David From Canada says

    Good for her by refusing to leave and staying in the organization – this is how you make change from within. She is very brave.
    I strongly suspect that this church will back down because of her strong attitude and all the adverse publicity they would get.

  4. oncemorewithfeeling says

    Seriously, is there anything worse than the Catholic Crime Cartel?

    They enslave the world’s poor, rape their children and spew their hate on everyone.

    Brava to this lady for forcing them to get rid of a sick old woman with medical bills to pay purely because she married the person she loves. Expose their irrational, hellish hate for exactly what it is. If only there was a hell for all those perverts to fry in for eternity.

    What a disgusting group of lowlifes all those men in dresses are.

  5. Pancho Lopez says

    I call her a collaborator. Like Judas, she is kissing her wife and stabbing her on the back.

    What’s her excuse? I didn’t know the Catholic Church was oppressing women and gay people. I’m sure the Germans said that when the Nazis were hauling the Jews away.

    Thanks, but no thanks. I don’t want this woman on my side. She needs to find a backbone first.

  6. alex says

    She’s no Judas. As David notes, the best way to change an organization is from within. While there are many problems with the Catholic Church, there are also many positives. Assuming that every Catholic is homophobic is about as effective as assuming the same of every Republican. (Hint: It’s the leadership of both organizations that’s the problem.)

    Can the Catholic Church change? Remember, in the 1960s, they gave up the centuries-old requirement that Mass be conducted in Latin. The question becomes when (or if) the Catholic Church will change in regard to human rights.

  7. says

    Another diocese shows its true colors: social work is not a priority; demonizing gay people is. And that’s one big reason why American Catholics are turning away from the Church–each time the diocese puts its head in the sand and goes against the beliefs of lay Catholics with cruel actions like this, they travel further down the road towards obsolescence.

    Good for her to stand her ground and bring awareness.

  8. Mitch says

    The web site has a link to send an email as well as a link to their FB page. Not that they listen to homosexuals (they only condemn them).

  9. woody says

    This is what the Catholic Church does when it’s not busy covering up the rape of children, moving around church funds so they can’t be used to compensate victims (yes, i’m talking to you cardinal dolan) and telling poor africans condoms won’t help prevent HIV infection. Way to go bishop of Kansas City. You are a real leader! A wonderful human being.
    Examine your conscience.
    Go to confession.

  10. verbocityeric says

    The answer is simple. Jack Burkman and One Million Moms will start a boycott of the foodbank and Ms. Simon will be forced to resign. Yes, a hunger strike by the working poor is exactly what is needed to call attention to the plague of same-sex marriage.

    The ball is your court, right minded christians, time to cowboy up and put morality above food. Because what is really wrong with America today isn’t lack of jobs or economic inequality; it’s girls marrying girls.

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