Archdiocese Cuts Ties With Catholic School That Refused to Fire Gay Teacher

Brefeuf Jesuit Preparatory School will no longer be recognized by the Indianapolis Archdiocese.
Brebeuf Jesuit Preparatory School in Indianapolis. Google Maps

The Catholic high school says the teacher is highly qualified and a trusted member of its staff.

The Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Indianapolis has slashed ties with a Jesuit prep school after administrators refused to fire a teacher who is in a same-sex marriage.

Brebeuf Jesuit Preparatory School will no longer be recognized by the archdiocese, according to a statement from the group. A formal decree by Archbishop Charles Thompson was expected to be published Friday in the archdiocese's weekly newspaper.

According the archdiocese, all Catholic teachers, counselors and administrators are considered ministers of the church. They are responsible for "supporting all teachings of the Catholic Church." Because the church does not recognize same-sex marriages, the diocese called for the firing of Brebeuf's gay instructor.

“Regrettably, Brebeuf Jesuit Preparatory School has freely chosen not to enter into such agreements that protect the important ministry of communicating the fullness of Catholic teaching to students,” the statement said. “Therefore (the school) will no longer be recognized as a Catholic institution by the Archdiocese of Indianapolis.”

The break follows a "sincere and significant disagreement" between school administrators and the diocese, according to a statement issued by Brebeuf on Thursday. "Brebeuf Jesuit has respectfully declined the Archdiocese's insistence and directive that we dismiss a highly capable and qualified teacher due to the teacher being a spouse" in a same-sex marriage.

"After long and prayerful consideration, we determined that following the Archdiocese’s directive would not only violate our informed conscience on this particular matter, but also set a concerning precedent for future interference in the school’s operations," the statement said. 

Under the archdiocese's decree, the school can no longer use the name Catholic and won't be recognized as a Catholic institution.

Brebeuf will appeal the decree, its administrators said, and will continue to call itself an independent Jesuit Catholic school.