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Fr. Mark Hodges Fr. Mark Hodges

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Catholic school fires teacher for ‘marrying’ lesbian partner, breaking moral contract

Fr. Mark Hodges Fr. Mark Hodges

MIAMI, Florida, February 14, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) -- An openly homosexual Catholic school teacher was fired for “marrying” her lesbian partner and publicizing their relationship online.

“Betrayal of the faith – contractually agreed to — and then blaming the Christian employer for being fired is happening more and more these days,” Americans for Truth about Homosexuality president Peter LaBarbera told LifeSiteNews. “I think the legalized homosexual ‘marriage’ factor ensures that one of these cases will reach the Supreme Court of the United States.”

Jocelyn Morffi taught first grade at Sts. Peter and Paul Catholic School in Miami for six years. The day after she returned from her lesbian “wedding” in the Florida Keys, she was let go. She called the firing an act of prejudice against her “choice of partner” when her actions clearly violated Catholic teaching and moral standards.

“This weekend I married the love of my life and unfortunately I was terminated from my job as a result,” Morffi complained in a social media post. “In their eyes, I’m not the right kind of Catholic for my choice in partner.”

The Catholic school sent a letter to parents. “Today a difficult and necessary decision has been made regarding Ms. Jocelyn Morffi, our first grade teacher,” Principal Carlota Morales’ letter explained. “She is no longer teaching at our school.”

While the letter to parents did not specify why Morffi was let go, the Archdiocese of Miami explained that Morffi “broke the contract she signed when she began teaching at a Catholic school.”

Teachers at Sts. Peter and Paul Catholic School sign a moral turpitude clause as part of their contract, promising to abide by Catholic morals and teaching.  

“As a teacher in a Catholic school, their responsibility is partly for the spiritual growth of the children,” Archdiocese spokeswoman Mary Ross Agosta explained. “One has to understand that in any corporation, institution or organization there are policies and procedures and teachings and traditions that are adhered to. If something along the way does not continue to stay within that contract, then we have no other choice.”

Several parents came to the school to protest Morffi’s firing, saying she was a “great teacher.” Some parents admitted knowing Morffi was an openly practicing homosexual but that it made no difference to them. Some said they didn’t know Morffi was gay. She had been living with her lesbian partner openly for two years.

In 2015 with the legalization of homosexual “marriage,” Archbishop Thomas Wenski reminded teachers that all archdiocesan employees are representatives of the Catholic Church and are expected to follow Christian teaching. He specifically noted, in light of the Supreme Court’s Obergefell decision, that any behavior “inconsistent” with Christian morals could require disciplinary action, including possibly firing.

Miami-Dade County has an anti-discrimination ordinance that includes homosexuals, but it exempts Christian and other religious employers from violating sincerely held beliefs. The state of Florida has not added sexual orientation to its anti-discrimination code.

“Every year teachers sign contracts. In the contract are policies, procedures, teaching and the traditions of the Catholic church,” the Archdiocese said in a statement. “That contract was signed and broken by her. No other decision could be made but to terminate her.”

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