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Seattle Catholics Rage Against Firing of Gay Principal

Alexander Reed Kelly
Associate Editor
In December 2010, Alex was arrested for civil disobedience outside the White House alongside Truthdig columnist Chris Hedges, Pentagon whistle-blower Daniel Ellsberg, healthcare activist Margaret Flowers and…
Alexander Reed Kelly

Students of Seattle’s Catholic schools rolled into the streets Thursday to protest the Archdiocese of Seattle’s firing of Eastside Catholic High School Vice Principal Mark Zmuda for marrying a man.

Sister Mary Tracy, a school spokeswoman, told KING 5 news that “a church decision is not a school decision.” A letter sent to students said that marrying a man “violated his employment contract.”

Dominic Holden at Seattle’s The Stranger points out that the Catholic Church has had a tough time containing the progressivism of the city’s congregants. In the 1980s, “the laity beat back the Vatican to defend a gay mass at St. James Cathedral and protect their gay-friendly archbishop. And … last year, when Catholics for Marriage Equality beat back the bigoted Archbishop J. Peter Sartain, who turned the entire archdiocese into an anti-gay lobbying arm of Rome. Seattle’s Catholics out-campaigned him and marched in gay pride.”

Holden writes:

Let’s be absolutely clear on what’s going on here. The American bishops believe that their grip on moral authority comes by setting these standards (mostly against women’s health and against gay rights). But no one listens to them anymore. Not the priests, not the congregations, not the kids.

They’re publicly humiliating Archbishop Sartain by becoming the Catholic Church’s new moral authority.

I have a call in to Archdiocese of Seattle spokesman Greg Magnoni, who didn’t answer his phone and hasn’t called me back. I’m curious how the Archdiocese of Seattle, Sartain, and Magnoni thinks they’re helping these kids out or what sort of message they’re sending about God.

See photos of the demonstrations here.

— Posted by Alexander Reed Kelly.

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