Thursday, December 29, 2011

Can A Catholic Employer Control An Employee's Personal Life?

It seems to all come down to whether a Catholic employer can control an employee's personal life; or at least that's how it seems. Christa Dias was a technology coordinator at Holy Family and St. Lawrence Catholic schools in Cincinnati, Ohio. She claims that she was wrongfully terminated because she became pregnant through the utilization of artificial insemination. Fired

The schools position has been less than consistent. Initially, the school reportedly fired Dias for being pregnant while single. They later apparently changed their reason to being pregnant from artificial insemination. Ironically, both reasons are contrary to Catholic teaching as well as her employment contract. But one would have to question how the schools would address the immaculate conception of Mary had she been an employee.

Dias responded by suing the schools for discrimination. While it is not clear whether her attorneys will argue inconsistencies in theology, perhaps they should. The outcome of the case will likely hinge upon a similar case pending before the U.S. Supreme Court. Case on hold. In the interim, what does the contract say?

In sum, it requires the teacher to "comply with and act consistently in accordance with the stated philosophy and teachings of the Roman Catholic Church and the policies and directives of the School and the Archdiocese."
This becomes problematic when you consider Section 2376 of the Catechism of the Catholic Church which reads:

"The gift of a child"

"Techniques that entail the dissociation of husband and wife, by the intrusion of a person other than the couple – donation of a sperm or ovum, surrogate uterus – are gravely immoral. These techniques – heterologous artificial insemination and fertilization – infringe the child’s right to be born of a father and mother known to him and bound to each other by marriage. They betray the spouses’ ‘right to become a father and a mother only through each other.' "

Defendant schools claim Dias' dismissal was not discriminatory; they contend it is simply because she violated a legal contract. Dias' attorneys; however, argue that the same standards are not enforced on male sperm donors. Furthermore, given that 90% of Catholics have used birth control of one sort or another, one may assume there are teachers that have used birth control. Were such teachers also fired for violating Catholic policy? (Don't even get us started on Priest who bend the rules when it comes to young alter boys...)

The Telegraph claims that Jennifer Cox was fired from Atomic Weapons Establishment in Britain for missing work due to pregnancy. Cox's case will be decided after the new year. Women argue that they want the same freedom that men take for granted. They want the ability to make choices in their personal lives without the risk of being singled out or fired in the work place. On the other hand the employers argue nondiscriminatory reasons for their personnel decisions. In the mean time, Catholic employers might be best suited to make decisions based upon old school theology. After all, wasn't Mary a single woman who became pregnant by unconventional means? Would the board advocate firing the mother of God based on a contractual violation?

Feel free to comment below or Twitter your feelings concerning this controversial case: LINK


Anonymous said...

Right on target L.P. Great job bringing the real issue into focus.

Anonymous said...

Church is just plain wrong on this 1

Video Guy said...

They just make up the rules as they go along...always have.

Don't forget that it wasn't until the 1990's that the Catlick church finally agreed that Galileo was right...the Sun does not orbit the Earth. You can't logically debate with people like this.

She should sue them, than find another job and another belief and take all her friends and family with her.

Anonymous said...

There needs to be separation of church and state.

Get them out of the education and the employment business!

Catholic Scholar said...

In 1979, Pope John Paul II called for the formal exoneration of Galileo.

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~Jay said...

Students were lined up in the cafeteria of a Catholic elementary school for lunch. At the head of the table was a large pile of apples which had a note:"Take only ONE. God is watching."

Further down the lunch line was a large pile of chocolate chip cookies. Being a bright student, Johnny wrote:"Take all you want. God is watching the apples."


Video Guy said...

LOL Jay…Did you hear about the convent fire and the four Nuns that were burnt up in the blaze?
So there they are, standing in line at the pearly gates waiting for St Peter to check them in. He has the first Nun in line in front of him, asking her the basic questions before granting her entrance to the holy paradise.
St Peter: Did you ever steal?
1st Nun: No
St Peter: Did you ever murder?
1st Nun: No
St Peter: Bla, bla, bla?
1st Nun: No, no, defiantly not!
St Peter: Did you ever touch a man’s penis?
1st Nun: Well, just once but I was young.
St Peter: WHAT! …Well, wash your hands in the holy water by the door and go on in.

Than the second Nun in line is before him and he begins the questioning.
St Peter: Ever steal, murder, bla, bla, bla?
2nd Nun: No, no, no…ect.
St Peter: Did you ever touch a man’s penis?
2nd Nun: Yes…but I also was young your holyness!
St Peter: WHAT!!! You’re Nuns representing our faith, you should be repressing those thoughts…well, I’ll give you points for being a Nun. Wash you hands in the holey water an go ahead inside.

Suddenly the fourth Nun in line shoves the third Nun to the side and cuts in front of her in line.
St Peter: And what is your problem, what’s the hurry?
4th Nun: Mr St Peter your holiness, I would like to rinse my mouth out in the holy water before the Nun behind me has to sit in it!


BTW, I was raised catlick so I’ll say what I want about them…a small retaliation for their insane rituals and abuse.

CATHOLIC SCHOLAR…so it was 1979, I thought it was later…thanks for the correction. Even so, do you think such people should be allowed to educate children with that kind of thinking?
Oh yea, since they changed the “don’t eat meat on Friday” rule, do you think the people that did eat meat on Friday before the rule was changed are still burning in hell?