Brebeuf Jesuit Meets With Parents After Archdiocese Cuts Ties
INDIANAPOLIS -- Administrators with Brebeuf Jesuit Preparatory School in Indianapolis held a meeting with parents of students Monday night.
It's the first time they've been able to meet ever since a decision was made not to fire a teacher who is in a public same-sex marriage. That decision resulted in the Archdiocese of Indianapolis cutting ties with the school. About 125 parents, alumni and some staff gathered in Brebeuf's chapel for the meeting.
"I think there's a lot of confusion," said Jennifer McGowen, who attended the meeting. "Particularly because we've seen the different implications at Roncalli and Brebeuf and Cathedral as well. So there were a lot of questions about why things were different at each institution."
Each one of those schools has been drawn into the middle of controversy. Roncalli has come under fire for their suspension of guidance counselor Shelly Fitzgerald for being married to another woman. Cathedral released a statement over the weekend saying they made an "agonizing decision" to do the same to one of their teachers at the behest of the archdiocese.
Brebeuf Jesuit defied the archdiocese.
"There were a lot of emotions that were evoked by this situation. As a longtime Catholic, there is some conflict," said Brebeuf parent Butch Humbert. "It's clear from hearing from Principal Vanslambrook and Father Verbreicht that the operations and the mission of the school will remain unchanged."
Parents told WISH-TV while the overwhelming majority of those in attendance supported Brebeuf's decision not to fire the teacher, some people did have concerns.
"It is difficult. I'm hopeful, and I pray that this situation and others like it will lead to a more informed interpretation of the words of Jesus Christ and can lead to positive change in the Catholic Church," said Humbert.
The Midwest Jesuits, the ministry that runs the school, plan to appeal Archbishop Charles Thompson's decision to revoke the archdiocese's recognition of the school. Under church law the first step is to pursue local recourse with the Archbishop. If that fails they can then take their case before the Vatican.
The archdiocese released a statement yesterday which said the issue is not about sexual orientation. Instead, according to the statement, it is about the expectation that all personnel in a Catholic school abide by Church teachings.