The following comes from a January 11 Catholic Education Daily article by Kimberly Scharfenberger:
Catholic schools have “an obligation” to terminate employees who actively oppose Church teaching and whose conduct “undermines the Church’s ability to fulfill her mission,” Cardinal Donald Wuerl of Washington, D.C., recently wrote in a blog post addressing the firing of a Church employee found to be in a same-sex marriage.
“The purpose of our parishes, schools, ministries and other Catholic entities — ‘and the task of those who work for them — is to lead people to Jesus,’” explained Cardinal Wuerl, citing his May 2015 pastoral letter Being Catholic Today: Catholic Identity in an Age of Challenge.
In his blog post, Cardinal Wuerl responded to a recent employment issue at a parish in Germantown, Maryland, where a music minister was terminated after his same-sex marriage was discovered by the pastor. The termination prompted an organized protest from Dignity USA, a dissident group of LGBT Catholics, which cited the incident as a form of discrimination.
However, Cardinal Wuerl noted that the parish’s decision is not discrimination, but is an example of safeguarding the Catholic mission of religious institutions.
“[I]f one persists or effectively insists that they are right and the Church is wrong, in the face of such irreconcilable differences it is not discrimination or punishment to say that continued ministerial service is not possible,” he wrote. “When there is the potential for scandal that might lead people astray regarding the Catholic faith, continued service becomes untenable.”
Cardinal Wuerl emphasized in his recent blog post that when the words or public conduct of a Church employee has “an adverse effect on our mission” the Church “must be free to then take corrective steps,” and “has an obligation in charity and truth to do so.”