PHILADELPHIA, March 22, 2011 (LifeSiteNews.com) – Chestnut Hill College reached a settlement Monday with openly homosexual professor and “priest” Jim St. George, after the college refused to renew St. George’s contract.
St. George, who taught Scripture and religion as an adjunct professor at Chestnut Hill from January of 2010 until this past February, is the pastor of St. Miriam Catholic Apostolic Church in Blue Bell, PA, an “independent” Catholic church. St. Miriam’s is affiliated with the Old Catholic Apostolic Church of America, which allows homosexual, female and married priests.
“It was with great disappointment when we learned through St. George’s public statements of his involvement in a gay relationship with another man for the past 15 years,” said college President Sr. Carol Jean Vale, in a statement released on the college’s website. “It is important to note that this information came to our attention only after St. George chose to make his private life public information on his blog.”
“While we welcome diversity, it is expected that all members of our college community, regardless of their personal beliefs, respect and uphold our Roman Catholic mission, character and values both in the classroom and in public statements that identify them with our school. For this reason, we chose not to offer an additional teaching contract to St. George,” Vale continued.
The statement further claims that St. George presented himself as a validly ordained priest in communion with Rome when he began teaching at Chestnut Hill.
The February 25th statement was released shortly after the College formally notified St. George that his contract would not be renewed, prompting legal action based on claims of discrimination.
According to a NewsWorks.org report, St. George alleges that he had never attempted to misrepresent his identity, and that Chestnut Hill had initially contacted him regarding the teaching position.
“Did it occur to me to say, ‘Did you know that I’m gay?’ No. I don’t think it would occur to anybody. Especially because they asked me to come teach; they found me through parishioners at my church. All of my parishioners know that I’m gay,” St. George said.
St. George claims that the school’s actions were prompted by a letter of complaint sent to school officials and Cardinal Justin Rigali by Blue Bell attorney James Pepper. The letter called St. George a heretic, and charged that his employment by the school was a scandal, according to NewsWorks.org.
The letter was received only days before Chestnut Hill informed St. George of the termination of his employment, but the school denies any connection.
The terms of the settlement are not being publicly disclosed, and calls to the college’s media relations office were not returned as of press time.