A Catholic school in Philadelphia has fired a part-time professor for being gay. Chestnut Hill College dismissed Rev. James St. George after college officials read statements about his sexuality on a blog.
The Catholic Church believes that homosexuality is “contrary to the teaching of the Roman Catholic Church.” St. George belongs to a non-traditional branch of Catholicism that is not associated with the Vatican and allows priests to be openly and actively gay. However, college officials state that he misrepresented himself during his interview by openly wearing a traditional Catholic priest’s collar.
“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,” Carol Jean Vale, president of Chestnut Hill College said in a statement last Friday. “For this reason, we chose not to offer an additional teaching contract to St. George.”
The professor is part of the Old Catholic Apostolic Church of America, which does not discriminate members by their sexual orientation and celebrates commitment ceremonies for gays and lesbians.
St. George, who was terminated Feb. 18, said that he did not mislead the college in any way, and said that he was shocked when he learned that he was being let go.
“What am I supposed to do?” he asked. “Say, ‘Before we go any further, I’m gay?’ Who says that?” He also said that he did not mislead the college in any way when he was hired.
Student Jessica Murray said she couldn’t believe that the school fired St. George.
“All you have to do is Google him, you can see that he’s openly gay,” she said. “They can’t claim they didn’t know.”
Via The Philadelphia Inquirer