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Friday, June 09, 2006


Schoolteacher's firing upheld
An anonymous commenter below reminded me about this article which I had meant to blog on before, but Blogger was down. (Today's four days in a row and again while I was writing this originally!)
The decision marked "precedential" by the U.S. 3rd Circuit Court of Appeals upheld an earlier ruling by U.S. District Judge Kent A. Jordan, dismissing the lawsuit filed by Michele Curay-Cramer against Ursuline Academy.
This is the second ruling in a row arguing that the case isn't even worth a trial.
Curay-Cramer filed suit in November 2003, charging the firing was illegal. She alleged gender discrimination, claiming men who committed similar infractions of church doctrine were not treated as harshly.

In its decision Wednesday, written by Circuit Judge Jane R. Roth on behalf of a three-judge panel, the appeals court ruled that Curay-Cramer failed to prove a man who supported abortion rights was treated more leniently at the school.

Instead, during arguments, her attorneys pointed to men who were Jewish or opposed the war in Iraq as examples. For the court to try to contrast and weigh these different violations of church doctrine would be "meddling" in matters of church orthodoxy and inappropriate, Roth wrote.
So, if I have this straight, Curay-Cramer is arguing that Catholic school shouldn't employ Jewish people?

Even if she's correct that the school hasn't fired males who disagreed with Church doctrine, that's not necessarily proof of discrimination. After all, not all doctrines are of equal value. There's a big difference between the doctrine of the divinity of Christ and the nature of Purgatory, for example.
The right to life from conception is very central doctrine in the Church, given development of Christ in the womb of his mother, among other reasons.

And further, there's a difference between disagreements with Church doctrine and in as public a forum as a newspaper advertisement. As the Catechism tells us:
2284. Scandal is an attitude or behavior which leads another to do evil. The person who gives scandal becomes his neighbor's tempter. He damages virtue and integrity; he may even draw his brother into spiritual death. Scandal is a grave offense if by deed or omission another is deliberately led into a grave offense.
2285. Scandal takes on a particular gravity by reason of the authority of those who cause it or the weakness of those who are scandalized. It prompted our Lord to utter this curse: "Whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him to have a great millstone fastened round his neck and to be drowned in the depth of the sea."(Mt 18:6; cf. 1 Cor 8:10-13) Scandal is grave when given by those who by nature or office are obliged to teach and educate others. Jesus reproaches the scribes and Pharisees on this account: he likens them to wolves in sheep's clothing.(Cf. Mt 7:15)
Opposing infallible Church doctrine is a problem; publicly opposing it as a Catholic School teacher to support it is a greater sin.

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