US: An Archbishop told a Jesuit school to fire a gay teacher. They said no

A Jesuit high school in Indiana can no longer call itself "Catholic" because it employs a teacher engaged in a same-sex marriage, the Archbishop of Indianapolis says. Archbishop Charles Thompson's decree, dated June 21, means that Brebeuf Jesuit Preparatory School in Indianapolis will no longer be recognized or identified as a Catholic institution within the archdiocese.

Thompson said the church considers Catholic school teachers to be "ministers" of the faith.

"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 Indiana said in a statement on Thursday. The Archdiocese said they tried but failed to reach an agreement with the Jesuit school.

The conflict pits the Jesuits, an order of priests known for educating generations of Catholics, against the church's powerful hierarchy. It's also the latest battle between Catholic schools who want to employ gay and lesbian teachers against bishops who insist that all employees toe the line on Catholic doctrine. What makes this conflict unusual is that Jesuits and their schools enjoy a degree of independence from the church hierarchy. In contrast to other Catholic schools forced to fire gay teachers, the Jesuits rejected Thompson's request to remove the teacher.

"It is rare for a Catholic institution not only to side with its LGBT faculty members, but also do so in the face of such fierce opposition from a bishop," said the Rev. James Martin, a Jesuit priest and author of "Building a Bridge: How the Catholic Church and the LGBT Community Can Enter into a Relationship of Respect, Compassion, and Sensitivity."

"In this case, it is also rare that a bishop would go so far as to publicly remove the designation 'Catholic' from the school," continued Martin, who is based in New York and not affiliated with the school. Read more via CNN