Washington, DC—American Life League vice president, Jim Sedlak, issued the following statement in regard to a New Jersey Catholic schoolteacher who was placed on leave and the bishop’s defense of that action:
In his statement supporting the removal of a Catholic teacher from a Catholic classroom because of remarks she made about homosexuals on her Facebook page, Bishop Bootkoski failed to accurately communicate two major items.
He stated that he found that the “teacher’s comments were disturbing and do not reflect the Church’s teachings of acceptance. . . . Pope Francis reminds us that we are to accept all of our brethren.” While these statements do reflect the Church’s teaching of acceptance as contained in Paragraph 2358 of the Catechism of the Catholic Church, the bishop chose to omit the clear mandate of CCC paragraph 2359: “Homosexual persons are called to chastity. By the virtues of self-mastery that teach them inner freedom, at times by the support of disinterested friendship, by prayer and sacramental grace, they can and should gradually and resolutely approach Christian perfection.”
It is disingenuous of the bishop to publicly cite the Church’s call for acceptance of the sinful individual without, at the same time, reminding the sinner of the Church’s expectation in his or her life. Such an omission will, and has, caused confusion on the true Catholic teaching regarding the homosexual lifestyle.
The bishop also made a specific point that the teacher “has never been terminated. . . . She has been put on administrative leave. There has been no interruption in her pay and benefits.” Yet, it appears the teacher has been informed that her contract will not be renewed for the 2015-2016 school year.
Whatever the bishop thinks of the language used by this teacher in her Facebook post, there is no evidence that she said anything contrary to Catholic teaching, and it would appear to be the Catholic thing to do to accept this teacher back into the school next year.
American Life League calls on Bishop Bootkoski to proclaim the full truth of Church teaching so that Catholics, and all others, will be rightly exposed to the full beauty of the gospel.
Media inquiries, please contact Rob Gasper at 540.659.4171 or RGasper@all.org.