Catholic Parishioners Rally Behind Man Fired As Church Music Director Over Same-Sex Engagement

ColletteAt a meeting at the Holy Family Catholic Church in Inverness, Illinois on Wednesday, a large number of parishioners showed up to voice their thoughts on the recent firing of Colin Collette – the man who had served as the church's music director for the past 17 years until he was unceremoniously let go after pastor Terry Keehan saw that Collette had proposed to his long-time partner William Nifong.  

The Chicago Tribune reports that many of the roughly 700 people who attended appeared to support Collette, who received a standing ovation when he entered the sanctuary.

Kevin Keane of Bartlett, one of dozens of people addressing a panel that included representatives of the Catholic Archdiocese of Chicago, quit his position as cantor in protest of Collette's firing.

“He has given his entire life to the church,” Keane said, repeating a portion of his speech. “That leads me to the conclusion if he's not fit to serve, then I am not fit to serve.” […]

Collette said this week that he has continued to attend Mass at the church and had hoped that he could be reinstated in his job as a private contractor. In a meeting with Keehan on Tuesday, Collette said, he was told there was no way he could return to his former job.

The Catholic Archdiocese of Chicago has since taken up all questions surrounding Collette's firing. Earlier this month the archdiocese released a statement saying: "Those that serve as Ministers of the Church, including worship ministers, are expected to conform their lives publicly with the teachings of the Church."