Lesbian Teacher Suing Diocese for Being Catholic

The Columbus Dispatch reports that a Catholic High School fired a physical education teacher last month after it became public knowledge that she is a lesbian who lives with her partner, in direct violation of Church teachings. Sadly, the teacher, Carla Hale, reacted by suing the Diocese of Columbus under the city’s anti-discrimination law, which does not provide an exemption for religious organizations and carries a penalty of up to 180 days in jail. There is a very real possibility then that Bishop Campbell could be sent to jail for upholding the Catholic faith.

There is also the possibility that this case could end up in the Supreme Court, as the unanimous decision in the Hosanna-Tabor v. EEOC case specifically leaves open the possibility of subsequent litigation for breach of contract. However, one has to wonder whether a contract based on a 19-year lie could still be valid. The Dispatch article does not state whether the school knew Hale was a lesbian and perhaps had some informal agreement with her provided she kept it quiet, but if so, the concealment on Hale’s part would only be more damning. Neither the school nor the diocese should be punished for trying to right the situation.

Bishop Campbell (AP Photo/Paul Vernon)

Bishop Campbell’s diocese is being sued for upholding Catholic teaching. (AP Photo/Paul Vernon)

An analogous scenario would be a bank manager discovering that one of her employees has been robbing banks, or a police chief discovering that one of his officers has been dealing drugs on the side for the past 20 years. Carla Hale clearly opposes Catholic teaching, so how can she possibly be a Catholic teacher? The Catholic Church is often accused of hypocrisy, but what could be more hypocritical than allowing a teacher to publicly contradict the Catholic faith?

Catholic schools entrust their teachers with a special responsibility to provide spiritual formation and act as role models for their impressionable charges. Not so long ago, most if not all teachers at Catholic schools were consecrated religious. Carla Hale is not even Catholic, but is a practicing Methodist. There is nothing wrong with ecumenism, but faithful Catholic parents have every right to expect that teachers at a Catholic school should be faithful ministers of the Gospel and witnesses to Christ in both their public and private lives.

Nevertheless, Hale has found a deep well of vocal support from partisans on the left. At time of writing, an online petition for her reinstatement had over 10,000 signatures. In times of persecution, there is always an angry mob that thinks it is in the right. Popular opinion claims to be loudly and fiercely opposed to any form of intolerance as a matter of principle, but this apparently does not include intolerance of faithful Catholics.

The more we are persecuted, the more we must pray that Bishop Campbell, and indeed all of us will have the strength to bear the cross. As the motto of the Carthusian order reminds us, “Stat crux dum volvitur orbis.” The Cross is steady while the world is turning. We must hold fast to the cross, because the world around us is not going to stop. We must remember as the cross grows heavier, it is because we still believe we are standing on solid ground, when in truth, the cross is all that is solid and eternal.

  • James Todd Johnson

    After listening to this woman and her partner being interviewed on TV, I can’t help but think that she knew exactly what would happen after she wrote the obituary.

  • Daniel Peper

    The bishop is responsible for seeing to it that the Catholic teaching on homosexuality is clear. Homosexuality is a disordered practice, and a grave sin. On the other hand, should every employee of a Catholic school be required to be absolutely sinless as a condition for employment? Are there some unmarried teachers who fall into drunkenness and fornication? Should they forfeit their jobs too, on account of being in the state of grave sin?

    • Slats

      There’s a difference failing once or even a few times into drunkenness and serial alcoholic behavior, and there’s a difference between falling once or twice into fornication and cohabiting with someone. Teachers with the former problems in each case wouldn’t necessarily need to be fired. Teachers in the latter cases would. Ms. Hale’s situation fell into that latter, lifestyle pattern category.

  • Fr. Bob

    I support the bishop’s decision but the writer of thus piece uses a faulty analogy. Robbing banks and dealing drugs are crimes. The last I checked, being a lesbuan is not a crime. Having said this, teachers in Catholic schools should reflect Catholic teaching and values.

  • Ernesto

    I’m a cradle Catholic and faithfully believe the teachings of the Church. I believe and agree with the Church’s teachings on homosexuality. I agree and understand the points that the author is trying to make with this article. With that being said, I take issue with your choice of scenarios. Robbing banks and dealing drugs are both prohibited by law, whereas living with someone of the same sex is not. Why is this important? While you write for your audience (Catholics), the article is published in the public arena, meaning anyone can read it. Those who do not believe the teachings would probably focus on your choice of comparisons and take issue with it. You’ve opened the door for a distraction. I’d love to see that door closed before any of your readers approach it! I love that there are many who are willing to speak the Truth, and aren’t afraid to do it even in the face of popular opinion. In this case, I’d ask the author to sit down and reflect a little longer to come up with additional scenarios that would better demonstrate his point. That’s the beauty of the Papal encyclicals, they’re written in such a way that those who read them, read them free from distractions. They must either believe, or deny both Christ and the Truth! Good luck in your future writings Brother!

  • Asclepius

    Tom: After Jesus forgave her sins, he’d say, “Go, and sin no more.”

    Things get complicated after she decides, well, mayhap that isn’t what I want to do. Kind of hard imagining the woman taken in adultery going back to adultery, isn’t it?

  • Tom

    Bishop Campbell should be punished for his discriminate decision. I am a Catholic, alumni of Bishop Watterson, and know Ms. Hale better than any of you do. Whichever of you has never sinned can then throw stones at Ms. Hale for hers. Would Jesus have thrown her out upon finding out that GOD made her gay? Take a look in the mirror and try to fix your own sins first before casting opinions that shoot someone else down for theirs.

    • Pam Ruthenbeck

      So you admit that the homosexual lifestyle is a sin. The Catholic Church doesn’t want to promote or encourage the homosexual lifestyle.

    • Antonio A. Badilla


      You know Ms. Hale better than we all do, but the bishop knows the teaching of the Church better and so do many Catholics who are tired of folks who seek employment in a Catholic setting and then do not have a problem contradicting Catholic teaching and playing “victim.”

    • Dan

      These kinds of decisions are the Bishop’s job. The school operates under his authority. Ms. Hale quite obviously operated under false pretenses respective to the conditions of her employment. I’m not sure why you and others here now seek to castigate Bp. Campbell for properly acting in his duties whilst absolving Ms. Hale for her dishonesty.

    • margie

      There is a difference between repentant sin and constant obstinate unrepentant sin, to actively live an open lifestyle of sin, brings scandal, ESPECIALLY to children, shame on you, go to confession.

    • Antonio A. Badilla

      “Bishop Campbell should be punished for his discriminate decision.”

      So, according to you the bishop should be punished for doing his job? Should we also punish the Bishop of Rome when he teaches moral norms in the name of the entire Catholic Church?
      Your words clearly show someone failed miserably in teaching you the Catholic faith. Perhaps, you should get your money back.

    • Richard

      Tom fails to mention Christ’s words to the woman in his Biblical piece re: throwing rocks. He told her to go and sin no more.

    • RooForLife

      Tom God did not make her gay, just like he didnt make people thieves, adulterers, alcoholics etc. Can people with same sex attraction change? Yes they can, according to people can change. com

      Stories of Change
      Rich Wyler: A Change of Heart
      Rich was in a complete state of crisis as he entered reparative therapy for homosexual sex addiction. His wife had caught him in yet another lie that was supposed to cover up his double life. He had “hit bottom.” Finding a therapist he could trust, and who had himself overcome unwanted same-sex attractions, Rich threw himself into the deep emotional work he had been running from all his life. It changed his life.
      ………. http://www.peoplecanchange.com/stories/index.php
      The Psychology of Homosexuality
      Dr. Nicolosi is one of three founding members–and former President–of the National Association for Research and Therapy of Homosexuality (NARTH), a 1,000-member professional association founded in 1992 (www.narth.com ). NARTH’s goal is to support mental-health professionals who work with same-sex-attracted clients seeking change; and to promote respect within the mental-health profession for worldview diversity—whether a person seeks to identify as gay, or to work toward developing his heterosexual potential.

      • Slats

        Can some people with same-gender attraction change? Perhaps. What I have observed over the years indicates that same-gender attraction is very deep-seeded. Most with those inclinations indicate remembering their difference from others from toddler years onward. Is it genetic? Perhaps. It would seem to me that in most cases, it is. Insofar as some may have same-gender attraction that is not genetic, but rather experiential/psychological, then the hormonal releases at prime moments of their early development changed their subsequent cranial and endocrinal makeup. That is to say, the same-gendered attractions are in their bodies. No longer being attracted to people of the same gender would be like no longer being allergic to peanuts – could happen, but it’s not merely going to be a matter of cognitive change. Any change to being opposite-gender attracted would thus have to be, not a just matter of talk therapy/etc., but also in part a miraculous action of God, like being cured of cancer beyond reasonable medical expectations, re-growing severed body parts, etc.

        I am open to the idea of some people changing from same-gender attractions through therapy, but I don’t think even begins to be helpful in dialoguing with the wider culture on these matters to suggest that all same-gender attracted folks can thus change. With those who cannot, that is not to say that God “made them that way,” but rather that God in His permissive will allowed that affliction to become part of their lives – for those who might have it genetically, in much the same way as He would permissively allow someone to be born with a chromosomal defect; in the case of those who developed it experientially, in allowing people around them to exercise their free will to sin (or make mistakes in child-rearing etc.).

        • Slats

          Forgot to close thusly: in any event, inclination, whether genetic, acquired, changeable, or not, does not give one permission to do what is evil (as same-gender genital acts are).



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