• Wed, May 2 2012

I Support The Catholic Church’s Right To Fire A Teacher Over IVF

 My husband is a graduate of a Catholic school within the Fort Wayne – South Bend Diocese. My mother-in-law was a teacher in the same group of schools and just recently retired after helping countless students. While I never attended parochial school, it is something that we’re considering for our daughter’s education. My family has very close ties to the Catholic schools in this area, including the school that recently fired a teacher, Emily Herx, for seeking in vitro fertilization to help her grow her family.

This story made major waves in newsrooms around the country. A dedicated and successful teacher lost her job because she and her husband sought medical help to have a child. It seems horrible and completely inexplicable.

This woman needed time off for her second round of IVF treatments, but instead of understanding or support from her employers, Emily Herx was called a “grave, immoral sinner.” Now, she’s suing the Diocese for discrimination because Herx has a medical disability that prevents her from having kids in a more traditional fashion.

These are the facts of this case, and it’s taken quite a while for me to wrap my head around them. I’ve met the priests in Fort Wayne’s Catholic churches. I know more than a few members of these churches and graduates of these schools. And of course, I’ve personally struggled with infertility and the intense desire to have a child.

I know the Church’s views on in vitro fertilization. I do not agree with them. I find it disturbing that the Church equates in vitro, which brings a desired life into the world, with abortion, which ends a pregnancy. I think that it’s heartless to look at women who are simply trying to become parents and demand that they not use the technology available to them in the name of faith. And I think it’s disgusting to insinuate that there could be something wrong with children because they were conceived through IVF, as opposed to more traditional means. I do not agree that in vitro should be a “grave, immoral sin.”

But Church doctrine isn’t mine to decide. Whether I agree with it or not, the Catholic Church believes that in vitro is a sin, and they make those views abundantly clear. So when one of their teachers wanted to undergo this treatment, they chose not to renew her contract, citing “ “improprieties related to church teachings or law.” As a religious institution, they really do have the right to make this decision.

I don’t agree with the decision. I feel horrible for the woman who had to suffer because of it. I sincerely hope that she gets a job within Fort Wayne Community Schools. (They have awesome benefits, I grew up under their plan.) But it is not up to me to decide who works at a Catholic school. They are an employer and they have the right to make that decision on their own.

Indiana is a right-to-work state. Even though it doesn’t sound like it, right-to-work means that your employers have the right to fire you at any time, without any reason whatsoever. The Church could’ve simply let Herx go without any explanation at all and saved themselves quite the controversy. The priest who called Herx a “grave, immoral sinner” was probably trying to shepherd his flock, not make a statement about employment. He was repeating a very firm Church teaching.

The Catholic Church believes that IVF is a mortal sin, and they have the right to decide that a woman who uses IVF shouldn’t be employed by the Church. I don’t have to agree with their stance, but I do have to respect that its their choice to make.

I think arguing about the school’s personnel decisions is directing the anger in the wrong place. If you don’t believe the Church should do this and you’re a member of the Catholic Church, then you need to talk to your priests. If you’re a member of a different Church or religion, make sure that the leaders in your organization wouldn’t do the same thing. And if you aren’t a member of any religious group, support the public school system that follows more open and ethical employment practices.

This controversy isn’t really about one woman’s job. People seem outraged to hear IVF called a grave, immoral sin. But that’s always been the Catholic Church’s stance on the issue. It just happened to be brought up in the news thanks to this particular case.

I have all the sympathy in the world for Emily Herx and I hope that she teaches again soon and gets the family that she’s hoping for. But Catholic school teachers are informed that they are expected to uphold Catholic practices in the school. Being pregnant through IVF is something that the Church would find seriously problematic. They had the right to choose not to renew her contract, no matter how much it pains me to acknowledge it.

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  • Jen

    Thank God that the Catholic Church is dying a slow death. With more and more priests dying every day and no new ones to continue the priesthood, with the continued attacks on women–including their own female religious orders–with constant refusals to address the culture of pedophilia and coverups I say good riddance. And, Lindsay, I was a Catholic School girl for 18 years. I got called a “slut” on more than one occasion by members of the priesthood and nuns because I dared to challenge Church doctrine. I was eventually asked to not return to church all together. I beg you not to inflict this horrible, soul sucking, anti-female, anti-humane institution on your daughter.

    • Jen

      Forgot to mention: at the time I was called a “slut” I was still in grade school (the first instance being 2nd grade). The church doctrine I was challenging? Asking why girl’s weren’t allowed to serve on the altar. A doctrine that was later changed by the pope…

    • Michelle

      I’m sorry you had such a bad experience with the Catholic church. I’m Lutheran so I never really wanted to become a Catholic but I went to Catholic school and my experience was much different. We were challenged to explore the faith and ask questions. No one was ever told they were wrong for their view points and certainly were never called a slut for disagreeing. I met a lot of devout Catholics during my time there and they are wonderful people that I still have in my life today.
      With all that said, even though I had a good high school experience I’m still never going to go to church there. I just don’t believe most of the things they are pushing. Especially for their stance on women’s issues.

    • Andrea

      Umm..I’m not gonna go into what’s right or wrong about the Catholic Church, but saying it’s dying a slow death is like saying the Chinese population is dwindling. In fact, there are over 1 BILLION (yes, with a B) Catholics world wide. It’s the largest Christian church in the world. Believe you me, it ain’t going anywhere.

    • Jen

      Andrea: It’s dying in the US and that’s a fact. It’s median age for members in the US is somewhere around 55 and more than 85% of young people raised in the faith are leaving it by the time they hit 20–and that includes typically more faithful groups like first generation citizens from hispanic countries. Most churches no longer have enough priests to carry out the ministry and have to relax longstanding church laws that forced retirement at 75 (my parents’ parish now has a regular celebrant who is 88 and their pastor is 70). ALL of the priests under thirty are being imported into the states from places like Africa and the Philippines because the Church is much stronger there. The Church as it stands in the US is a dying entity and frankly, while I think it’s an evil organization and would love to see it dying everywhere, I’ll be content if it simply gasps it’s last in my lifetime in the US.

    • Rhea

      Jen, I’m not a mother, I’m a senior in high school, about to graduate. But, I would just like to say that I completely agree with you. In my graduating class, I know far more Agnostics and Atheists than I do Christians/Catholics. Sure, some might SAY they are Christian or Catholic, but they never abide by any of those rules. Ever. The ones who seem to be the most religious are often the ones who go get drunk every weekend. Their strict upbringing often leads to rebellion as they grow older. I grew up being a Hindu, and I guarantee you that I learned what I needed to learn. I have never touched alcohol or drugs nor do I ever intend to. I am morally good and I don’t need to believe in a God to tell me that I’m a good or bad person. What I think is that people should learn to have morals for their own benefit. Not to please some being that might not even exist. For this reason, I’m Agnostic. There is no way to prove or disprove the existence of God. No matter how many scriptures or testaments you read, those are all man made things.

      Also, we can all agree that churches are and will always be corrupt. They can spend money to build churches but none to feed the hungry?They always seem to place females below males. They do it in the most discrete way and we just let them tell us what to do. They tried to forbid scientific advancement and theories that have been proven right millions of times. “Oh, the world’s round? You’re a liar and you’ll burn in hell.” “Oh, theory of evolution? You’re a liar and you’ll burn in hell for trying to disprove the church”.
      They shun those who get pregnant while at the same time telling them they’re burn in hell if they get an abortion.? What good can this do to people?

      Sorry for my essay, I got carried away. Anyways, point is, I agree with you but there’s so much more that I dislike about religion in general…

    • Jules

      I agree with you 100%!!!! I hate the fact that most catholics now don’t even believe their churches teachings. They cross their fingers in mass thinking it doesn’t apply to them or their circumstances and merely go for the pageantry. It’s really sad because they are really missing out on the opportunity to grow themselves spiritually. I am an Episcopalian and we have a lot of members who were cradle Catholic but found that the church does not align with their beliefs (sex equality, using your own judgment for sex and contraceptive choices, marriage equality). I honestly don’t know why they go or stay if they don’t support the message. I’ve had this argument with my sister because she intends to baptize her child in the Cathoilic church to appease her MIL (who never goes to church). I’m hurt because I can never be a Godmother and I will not sit in a church that preaches hatred instead of tolerance. And I don’t think I could see the offering plates go around without feeling sick about the fact that the money is blood money to pay off sexual abuse survivors.
      @Andrea- They are dying in the US. Pretty sad when a church has to run primetime commercials… just sayin.

    • Jen

      Jules: More like the money is blood money to pay lawyers and PR people in an attempt to AVOID paying survivors of sexual abuse.

    • Alina

      So Jen, because YOU personally had a terrible experience with Catholicism, other women should feel bad about baptizing their children in the church or practicing their religion? Thanks so much for telling everyone what to believe in! How open-minded of you.

      Your comments imply all Catholics are backwards and hateful, which is far from the truth. Most people identify as whatever religion they were born into but aren’t particularly religious – most Catholics I know are in church for Xmas/Easter and not the rest of the year, nor are most of them against women’s rights. A minority of hateful people don’t define the religion.

    • T.

      A little bit more complicated than that, I think :)

      The Catholic Churc has one of the highest conversion rate among religions (yes, somebody made statistics. There are statistics for *everything* O_O), meaning that the +/- of people entering/leaving the Churc stays positive.
      The highest-growing religion is a branch of the Catholic Churc (you might not know, but there are 10 or so of “Catholic Churcs” in truth ) of which I don’t know the english name, sadly, with a rate of grow of 500% yearly, more or less.

      However, it is mostly in areas of the World which is not the US.

      I know very well the Catholic Church. I have to, I am Italian :) And, as somebody else said, I also went to Catholic School and had a very good experience, there.

      I also went to areas of the world where your major problem is not the IFV, but is how to avoid that your 5th child to be born with HIV as his 4 siblings. And I have seen, with my very eyes, what priests and nuns do there.
      And yes. They give condoms. Shocked? Don’t be. Are they catholic? Yek, yes. But they are far, far more open minded that you think.

      In Italy, if you want to teach or to frequent a Catholic School you have to bring a certificate that you are baptised. And if you want to go to a Hebrew school you have to prove you are Jew. And, if you brings not-kosher food to share with you pupil at school, you are fired.
      Because that is an HEBREW school :)

      I might also note that I fear “slut-naming” is a horrible US habits more than a Catholic one. In Italy, it doesn’t happen nearly as much as it does in the US. It just don’t, believe me. We went to school in mini skirt, and nobody baited an eye. And I don’t mean only the teachers, also our classmates. It doesn’t exist the idea, or not as much as in the US seems to exist, to call “slut” (or well, it Italians verion) somebody for how she is dressed. To insult, well, certainly. But more than “puttana” (“slut”) in Italy if you want to insult a woman you call her “stronza” (“asshole”).
      So, I think it is more a cultural-US problem than a Catholic one.

      The woman can do what she wants within the laws. But she teaches to a Catholic School, and so I also think that what they did was right. Same if it was an Islamic School or an Hebrew School.
      If you bring a big mac during Ramadam in a Islam School, they have right to sue you.
      If you bring salame to a Hebrew School party, they have right to fire you.
      If you do IFV, a Catholic School has the right to fire you (well, probably the Hebrew and Islamic one would, too).

      My two cents, and something to give you food for thought I hope? ^^

      And: Would you think I am a Catholic? I don’t know :) Do I believe that God loves us unconditionaly? Yes, certainly. Do I believe what I have been thaught at sunday school? Yes, as well. Do I agree with EVERYTHING the Pope says, or go to Mass every Sunday? No :) But God gave me a brain, and the Pope is infallible only in veeeeery rare case :P
      Your choice if I am Catholic or not :)

    • Jen

      Alina: I don’t give a crap what other women choose to do. But, when you knowingly enroll your child in a place that has made it clear that 1) women are lower than men and 2) they WILL do whatever they can to protect themselves up to and including allowing a grown man to abuse your child without consequences that gives me pause. It’s also the fact that you are willingly enrolling your child in a place that applauds and rewards priests for expelling long term members for who they love (I’ve known two separate priests who’ve gained promotions within the Church for kicking out parishioners who they learned were gay) while chastising religious women for caring for the poor and sick. I have a problem with sending your child to an institution that will not allow their homeless outreach in NYC to minister to GLBT youth and who ignore pleas from their own religious to change this standpoint. Of course I don’t think every Catholic is a horrible person. I’m pretty sure I mentioned earlier that both of my parents are still Catholic as is one of my best friends. I do think the Catholic institution is evil and under Benedict they have become significantly more obsessed with hate.

      T: While I am speaking specifically about the US Church, I’ve also been to Italy. Again, I was a devout Catholic for many many years. In my experience Italian Catholics (or at least those who are the members of religious orders there) are MORE likely to engage in “slut-shaming” at least when it comes to what females wear to church. Beyond just having the nuns stop anyone who wanted to come into mass without sleeves (which is fine, cultural norms should be respected); she also had comments about EVERYONE’S clothing as they were entering the church. I saw this in three separate churches in Italy on multiple occasions. Additionally, I just wanted to comment to your condoms story. You do know that under John Paul priests and nuns in places like Africa were ALLOWED to give out condoms. John Paul argued that protecting people and halting disease trumped church doctrine on birth control and he gave priests the right to administer these things and made it clear that it would not be considered a sin for men and women to use condoms. Benedict has since reversed that order which is problematic both because it puts the religious men and women on the ground in the difficult position of deciding whether to do the right thing or the thing the Church requires of them.

  • Nica

    I agree with the author. If the teacher wanted to go through with this plan, she should have either not been so public with her plans (she could take “personal time” without specifying the reason or timed her fertility treatments during the summer when it would not have required time off).

    I don’t see what the issue is here.

  • Andrea

    And while it is true that a generation ago girls weren’t allowed to serve at the altar, that is not true anymore.

    • Jen

      I’m not sure if this was directed at me, but I am well aware of that fact. I WAS the first altar server in the NYC diocese. I have served on the altar with Cardinal O’Connor, was present as a server at the Pope’s youth mass in Central Park, and enjoyed the abusive and misogynistic language of a score of high ranking Catholic officials for 12 years before finally shedding the yoke of this incredibly awful organization.

    • Jen

      *first female

  • Ellen

    I also live in a right-to-work state, Kentucky, and find it difficult to accept that employers need not be accountable for their firing practices. This case may be within the boundaries of the law but it is also discrimination. Catholic have a right to their beliefs however denying employment to others based on those beliefs is blatant discrimination. Discrimination based on religious beliefs is illegal and religious employers should not get a pass on this. Secular employers (with 15 or more employees) are held to a strict standard in this regard and exempting religious organizations is a violation of the separation of church and state. This situation is far too close to denying employment to someone based on race or sex.

    • w

      How is “exempting a religious organization a violation of the separation of church and state”? It is not a violation. Exempting them from government laws is enforcing the separation of church and state and no matter what I think of the Catholic Church in this regard…the separation absolutely should be protected.

    • http://twitter.com/MsWendyKH Wendy Kraus-Heitmann

      No. The exemption is giving the church approval to violate laws. Which means they are “special” and favoured. A gross violation of the separation.

    • Jules

      Ellen, you raise a very good point about separation between church and state.
      I just want to clarify for you that there is no constitutional requirement to separate church and state. What is the constitutional guarantee is that the government will not establish it’s own religion and they will not stop individuals from practicing theirs. Here, I think one could argue that tax exemptions and such can be viewed as establishing a religion, that is a subjective opinion. However, the Supreme Court looks at the fact that the exemption and vouchers are available to every religion so it cannot be said that the gov is giving better treatment to one over others or is establishing a religion. Also, for those who with a particular set of beliefs who want their children to have a religious education, not helping the schools to be operational may infringe somewhat on the free exercise clause. I think it’s a great point to make and hope that I could provide you with the analytical framework the courts work within when looking at these issues.

  • Perdita

    IVF is immoral because it requires the creation & implantation of numerous embryos, which are human life. Then, once implantation takes place the undesired embryos (babies) are selectively terminated. That’s the same thing as abortion. Creating life & then ending some of the lives.

    • Jen

      For the three thousand millionth time: embryo is not a baby. God, you people

    • Kim

      Human life can’t be frozen. If an embryo is frozen for 20 years, then implanted, is the resulting child born when she is 20+ years old? No, of course not…because life doesn’t begin at conception.

    • JEM

      You do know that only happens when the woman chooses to and it’s not required, right? Also, you’re aware that fertile couples self-abort more embryos in their lifetime than infertile couples going through infertility treatments ever will as the body self-terminates up to 80% of fertilized embryos before they’re detectable by a home pregnancy test?

    • MelB

      Your comment is typical of the gross misinformation most people have about IVF.
      In my own personal experience, my husband and I (along with the help of our doctors) harvested nine eggs from my ovaries. They were all mixed with my husband’s sperm. Six viable embryos were the result. Two of those six embryos were transferred into me. We were COMPLETELY open to a twin pregnancy. However, only one of them took and is now my beautiful three year old daughter. We froze the remaining three embryos at that time.

      Earlier this year, my doctor transferred ONE of the frozen embryos into me and I’m now expecting our second child. We have two embryos remaining, still frozen. Right now, we plan to try for more children using those embryos as we feel they have a right to life.

      So, while I can see how some Catholics can take issue with removing the creation of life from the sexual act and also with how the man’s sperm is obtained for the IVF. It is the RARE, RARE case where selective termination (ie, aborting “excess” embryos) is done and it’s usually only when continuing a higher order multiple pregnancy would be of danger to the mother or to all the babies involved. Most reproductive endocrinologists have a goal of singleton pregnancies when working with IVF patients. It results in better outcomes for mother AND baby, no question. Most docs opt to transfer only 1-2 embryos per cycle to avoid higher order multiple pregnancies. Any excess embryos are frozen and used in future cycles and a FET (frozen embryo transfer) cycle is much less invasive and expensive than a IVF cycle.

      People like Kate Gosselin and Nadya Suleman have done much to spread misinformation on fertility treatments. Rest assured, they are the exception and not the norm.

    • pj

      @Perdita, the information you are using in your argument is flawed. IVF does not involve the “creation and implantation”. Egg and sperm are allowed to mix outside of the body, and then are TRANSFERED into the woman’s body. They are not implanted – technology can not do that (yet). This is why IVF is not 100% successful. The embryos still have to implant themselves, and sometimes they do not… well, you know what, a lot of women have the same situation occur to them – it’s called a chemical pregnancy in which the fertilized egg does not implant, or it does and then miscarriage occurs before a five weeks of pregnancy. Does that make that person immoral as well? After all, their body rejected the pregnancy.

      Many people freeze the embryos to use for later pregnancies, or they donate them to people who cannot create embryos themselves. What is wrong with that?

      What I don’t understand is this… the Catholic Church pushes women to have as many children as possible. Then, when they try and aren’t able to, they aren’t allowed to use technology.

      Frankly, I don’t think that the Catholic Church has really looked at the technology and considered what it really means.

      I was raised Catholic, but when my husband and I started trying for a baby, we were unable to – three years now and still no pregnancy. I don’t have support from my Church, I have whispers and stares. All the support I get from the priest is to “trust in God”. Well, my problems are very real medical issues and without assisted technology, we will not be able to have a child biologically. So, I have been been told by “support system” of the Church that if I try to have a child I am a sinner.

      To those people who stand on their soapbox and say that the Church has every right to condemn this woman… what if it was you? What if the only way for you to have a child was to use IVF? Would your tune change then? Just think about it.

  • Naomi

    Actually, right-to-work does NOT mean you can be fired for any reason whatsoever. You can’t be fired for certain protected classifications, i.e., religion, race, gender, disability as long as you can do the job. And no, religious organizations should not be exempt. Letting religious organizations be exempt from the law is not supporting separation of church and state – it’s the exact opposite. This woman’s medical disability doesn’t affect her ability to teach. Ergo, it’s none of the church’s damn business.

  • C

    I didn’t read all the previous comments, I’m just commenting on the original post and the overall issue. I am not Catholic, throwing that out there right now. I’m from a Methodist background and am now a member of the Open and Affirming United Church of Christ. Because we believe everyone is loved by God. No matter what.

    That being said, there are many issues with what happened to this woman. I believe that a religious institution has the right to hire and require anything within the law of its employees. So no issue there. The issue is that the Diocese (and I’d argue Catholic schools/churches throughout the country) has been extremely inconsistent with the enforcement of these rules and regulations related to doctrine. Is this woman the only one to go through IVF in the entire Diocese? Is she the only one who’s coworkers knew about it? Absolutely not. If the Diocese wants to have the right of this, they need to go fire everyone who has undergone IVF. And anyone who has had a vasectomy. Or uses birth control of any kind. Then this isn’t an issue, because they are consistent in applying their beliefs and regulations to everyone.

    As it is, they are not. We can also go back to the fact that they were aware of her first round of IVF and apparently had no issues. Do you want to know when the issue came up? When another teacher complained, because she was under the mistaken impression that her money was being used to pay for the IVF. That’s right, that’s how this whole thing got started.

    So, until I see everyone who hasn’t followed Catholic practices as outlined in their contract (very vaguely, might I add), I’ll continue to call “Hypocrisy!” at the entire system involved here.

  • Evelyn

    I like how all these different people are talking bad about the Catholic religion. Don’t forget that every religion has things that some people don’t believe in. God gave us free will and I think it’s horrible that people talk bad about other religions constantly. Yes the Church might seem backwards to others because it does not accept IVF or contraception, but the teachings are very clear and it’s up to you if you follow them or not. If you don’t like it you are more than welcome to leave and find another place of worship that is more suitable to your beliefs. I hope that someday everyone can just respect each other’s beliefs without all this trash talking. Oh, and by the way, I am a Catholic ( I converted) and proud of it!

    • May

      Complete Bullshit.

  • Alina

    Alina: I don’t give a crap what other women choose to do. But, when you knowingly enroll your child in a place that has made it clear that 1) women are lower than men and 2) they WILL do whatever they can to protect themselves up to and including allowing a grown man to abuse your child without consequences that gives me pause. It’s also the fact that you are willingly enrolling your child in a place that applauds and rewards priests for expelling long term members for who they love (I’ve known two separate priests who’ve gained promotions within the Church for kicking out parishioners who they learned were gay) while chastising religious women for caring for the poor and sick. I have a problem with sending your child to an institution that will not allow their homeless outreach in NYC to minister to GLBT youth and who ignore pleas from their own religious to change this standpoint. Of course I don’t think every Catholic is a horrible person. I’m pretty sure I mentioned earlier that both of my parents are still Catholic as is one of my best friends. I do think the Catholic institution is evil and under Benedict they have become significantly more obsessed with hate.

    • T.

      While I agree with some thing of what you say, I have to respectfully tell you that pedophilia is by no means restricted to the Catholic church. In fact, it exist roughly in the same percentage in all the churches and all the places where you can interact with children. Focusing only on one church is conterproductive.

    • http://twitter.com/MsWendyKH Wendy Kraus-Heitmann

      I have heard this argument repeatedly from catholic friends and it makes no sense. What does that have to do with the fact an orgnaization dedicated to the love of Christ is allowing adult men to sexually abuse children, more than allowing also aiding an abetting. Sure it happens in other orgs. How does that absolve the RCC of their absolute non response to the fact their employees are molesting children? How is that a response to the cover ups? “Everyone else is doing it” are you fucking serious?!

  • Alina

    @Jen – I never had a Confirmation, did not attend mass, and as far as I care, Easter exists for us to enjoy Cadbury Creme eggs. But I went to Catholic school for 8 years and never experienced the hate or sexism you are describing. My teachers were mostly nice people and they said anything hateful like being gay is evil or something. Our sex ed was abstinence-only, which I agree is a horrible idea, but that’s the way it is in most U.S public schools too. It seems to me that you personally had a horrible experience and are trying to apply it to everyone by making extremist statements like baptizing is a child is tolerating grown men to abuse your child without consequences.

    Also I’m not denying your experience in Italy, but I never saw what you described when I visited Vatican City (and I’m conversational in Italian). They did prohibit people wearing shorts but that’s the extent of it that I witnessed.

  • Toni

    The Church has every right to make this decision. Catholic school teachers teach more than just the subject matter, they teach the doctrines of the Faith if not in words, they are expected to in actions. And their contracts specfically tell them this.

    I wouldn’t take a job with the Democratic Party, then get upset when I got fired for volunteering for the campaign of the Republican candidate.

    I was a cradle Catholic who stopped practicing probably eight years ago. When I went through infertility, I struggled and thought that going back to church may help. The Catholic Church’s stance on IVF kept me from going back there. Over the years, I had become a “caffeteria Catholic”, picking and choosing which doctrines I thought merited my attention and ignoring others. This one, however, I couldn’t just ignore. So I found an Episcopal Church where I was welcomed and encouraged to use reason, tradition and faith to come up with my beliefs.

    I am not mad at the Catholic Church. They believe what they believe and they aren’t shy about telling you. If you disagree…leave the Church. Don’t be mad that they won’t accomodate you. There are plenty of religions out there and you can find a better fit. It isn’t fair to yourself or to the Church to be angry with their stances when you have options about what religion you associate with.

    • aliceblue

      I too was a a cradle Catholic who left for a more tolerant church. I am not mad at the Catholic Church but am sad to have left when it was such a large part of my life and the lives of my extended Irish Catholic family. It is just the “if you don’t like it leave” attitude that I found so distressing about the church. If you have a serious disagreement about something with your spouse you can be damn sure the CC doesn’t say “hey, just leave him/her” but encourages you to work on the relationship. Wish that the CC would do the same.

      Until then UCC for me.

  • Janina

    Personally, I identify myself as a Catholic and attend church because i believe in and value the sacrament of communion. I disagree with the church’s stance on homosexuality, contraception and fertility treatments. I gave birth to my children with the help of fertility treatments, and they are God’s greatest gift to me. It is my choice to attend church – there is nowhere else i can receive the body and blood of Christ.

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  • aliceblue

    Sad yet ironic that they fire a woman who is trying to have a child but the teachers who use birth control (98% of Catholics do), have had abortions, are single but engage in sex are likely still employed. No one requires the school to be in favor of her activities but should this be between her and God or, at least her and her priest. Apparently “judge not, least ye be judged” has been rewritten as “get the hell away from us you ‘grave, immoral sinner.’”