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Archbishop Charles Thompson. Archdiocese of Indianapolis
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Archbishop strips Jesuit school of ‘Catholic’ label for refusing to let go gay ‘married’ teacher

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PETITION: Support Abp Thompson for stripping Catholic label from dissident Jesuit school. Sign the petition here.

INDIANAPOLIS, Indiana, June 21, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) – An Indiana archbishop has stripped a Jesuit-run school of its Catholic label after the school refused the archbishop’s directive that it not renew a teacher’s contract who had ‘married’ a same-sex partner. 

Two summers ago, a teacher from Brebeuf Jesuit Preparatory School “married” a same-sex partner. The fact became publicly known via social media. The Archdiocese of Indianapolis, led by Archbishop Charles Thompson, requested around the same time that the school not renew the teacher’s contract because the teacher’s lifestyle contradicted Catholic sexual and moral teaching. 

The school refused to follow the directive. 

Because of this, Archbishop Thompson issued a decree on June 20 (read full statement below) that he no longer recognizes Brebeuf Jesuit Preparatory School as a Catholic institution.

“The Catholic Church teaches that Catholic schools are integral to the mission of the Church to proclaim the Good News of Jesus Christ and to be places of learning where students encounter the living Christ,” the Archdiocese said in a statement on Thursday afternoon.

The Archdiocese continued that “every archdiocesan Catholic school and private Catholic school has been instructed to clearly state in its contracts and ministerial job descriptions that all ministers must convey and be supportive of all teachings of the Catholic Church.”

“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. Therefore, Brebeuf Jesuit Preparatory School will no longer be recognized as a Catholic institution by the Archdiocese of Indianapolis,” it stated. 

Archbishop Thompson made the decree recognizing that it is his “canonical responsibility to oversee faith and morals as related to Catholic identity within the Archdiocese of Indianapolis.”

“I, the Most Reverend Charles C. Thompson, D.D., J.C.L., with great sadness, acknowledge the choice of Brebeuf Jesuit Preparatory School to no longer retain Catholic identity according to the doctrine and pastoral practice of the Catholic Church and, therefore, to no longer remain as a Catholic institution in the Archdiocese of Indianapolis,” he said in a statement. 

“The institution known as Brebeuf Jesuit Preparatory School (2801 W. 86th St., Indianapolis, IN 46268), by its own selection, can no longer use the name Catholic and will no longer be identified or recognized as a Catholic institution by the Archdiocese of Indianapolis nor included in the listing of The Official Catholic Directory,” he added.

Father Brian Paulson, who heads the Midwest Province of Jesuits, said that he was disappointed by the decision. 

“The teacher in question does not teach religion and is a longtime valued employee of the school,” he said, adding that this was why Brebeuf “declined to honor the Archdiocese’s expectation that the school dismiss this teacher.”

 “I disagree with the necessity and prudence of this decision,” he said. 

Father Paulson said that his order will appeal the decision through the process indicated by church law, which may lead to taking recourse to Vatican authorities. 

The school, which hosts about 800 students and has a staff of about 130, released a statement expressing its disagreement with the archbishop, stating that it believes that his “direct insertion” into the Jesuit’s employment practices is “unprecedented.” Following the Archbishop's directives, according to the school, would have been a violation of conscience.

LifeSiteNews has launched a petition to support Archbishop Charles Thompson here

Learn more about Archbishop Thompson’s views and past actions by visiting FaithfulShepherds.com. Click here.

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June 20, 2019 statement by Archdiocese of Indianapolis

The Catholic Church teaches that Catholic schools are integral to the mission of the Church to proclaim the Good News of Jesus Christ and to be places of learning where students encounter the living Christ.

All those who minister in Catholic educational institutions carry out an important ministry in communicating the fullness of Catholic teaching to students both by word and action inside and outside the classroom. It is their duty and privilege to ensure that students receive instruction in Catholic doctrine and practice. To effectively bear witness to Christ, whether they teach religion or not, all ministers in their professional and private lives must convey and be supportive of Catholic Church teaching. The Archdiocese of Indianapolis recognizes all teachers, guidance counselors and administrators as ministers. A comprehensive description of Catholic Church teaching can be found in the Catechism of the Catholic Church.

In the Archdiocese of Indianapolis, every archdiocesan Catholic school and private Catholic school has been instructed to clearly state in its contracts and ministerial job descriptions that all ministers must convey and be supportive of all teachings of the Catholic Church.

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. Therefore, Brebeuf Jesuit Preparatory School will no longer be recognized as a Catholic institution by the Archdiocese of Indianapolis. The attached decree is effective as of

DECREE

Whereas, the undersigned and officials of the Archdiocese of Indianapolis have been in extensive dialogue with the President and Board of Brebeuf Jesuit Preparatory School on whether or not Brebeuf Jesuit Preparatory School was willing to remain as a recognized Catholic institution by the Archdiocese of Indianapolis; and,

Whereas, I accept and respect a school’s right and responsibility to make decisions that result in such a determination; and,

Whereas, it is my canonical responsibility to oversee faith and morals as related to Catholic identity within the Archdiocese of Indianapolis; and,

Whereas, Brebeuf Jesuit Preparatory School has chosen not to implement changes in accord with the doctrine and pastoral practice of the Catholic Church;

I, the Most Reverend Charles C. Thompson, D.D., J.C.L., with great sadness, acknowledge the choice of Brebeuf Jesuit Preparatory School to no longer retain Catholic identity according to the doctrine and pastoral practice of the Catholic Church and, therefore, to no longer remain as a Catholic institution in the Archdiocese of Indianapolis. Therefore, in accord with canon 803 of the 1983 Code of Canon Law, I hereby decree that:

The institution known as Brebeuf Jesuit Preparatory School (2801 W. 86th St., Indianapolis, IN 46268), by its own selection, can no longer use the name Catholic and will no longer be identified or recognized as a Catholic institution by the Archdiocese of Indianapolis nor included in the listing of The Official Catholic Directory.

This decree is effective immediately and will remain in effect until such a time as Brebeuf Jesuit Preparatory School demonstrates their desire to operate in accord with the doctrine and pastoral practice of the Catholic Church. This decree is subject to hierarchical recourse according to the provisions of canons 1734 and following.

Given this 21st day of June 2019

at the Office of the Archbishop

The Most Reverend Charles C. Thompson, D.D., J.C.L.

Archbishop of the Archdiocese of Indianapolis

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