According to TwinCities.com,
After decades of honing his musical skills, Charles Philyaw landed his dream job in 2004 as the full-time director of music liturgy at St. Andrew Catholic Church in Verona.
The church, with 1,643 adult members, was more than just a place to work for Philyaw. He and his partner, James Mulder-Philyaw, joined the parish and participated fully in the religious community.
Then in June, it all collapsed. Philyaw said he was told by the parish priest, the Rev. Dave Timmerman, that he would no longer be retained because he was living an openly gay life. He was given two weeks’ notice.
Far from attempting to obfuscate the issue, the issue was made plain.
“Absolutely, Chuck lost his job because he’s openly gay,” said Jo Ellen Kilkenny, one of the five whose inquiries triggered Philyaw’s dismissal.
She calls him a “wonderful music director” and said she feels horrible that he lost his livelihood, yet it became indefensible for him to be in a highly visible role as an active homosexual, she said.
“We are all sinners, but when you hold a leadership position, you’re held to a higher standard than people in the pews,” she said.
I must tell you that this is a very well done article as it states plainly the Church’s side of the issue with quotes like these:
Brent King, spokesman for the Madison Catholic Diocese, said Bishop Morlino does not comment on personnel issues. But the diocese made available the Rev. Monsignor James Bartylla, director of vocations, who is helping to coordinate locally a program called Courage, a national Catholic initiative that counsels people with same-sex attraction.
While same-sex attraction is considered a disorder by the Catholic Church, it is not a sin in and of itself, Bartylla said. “It is acting on the attraction that makes it a sinful act, a grave depravity,” he said.
People with same-sex attraction must control their desires and live chaste lives, he said. If they do so, they can participate fully in church life, including in leadership positions, he said.
Because of this distinction between same-sex attraction and acting on it, it would be a mistake to say the Catholic Church dismisses anyone from employment simply for their sexual orientation, King said.
As for parishioners who are sexually active homosexuals, Bartylla said the church would welcome them, then “begin dealing immediately” with the issue. “We’d encourage them and challenge them to come into conformity with church teaching, the same as with any parishioner dealing with sin.”
In this case, the article doesn’t say if any lawsuits are pending but sexual orientation is becoming a constant addition to anti-discrimination statutes across the country. How long until churches lose the right to discriminate at all? I think we’re a bit of a way off from the government stepping in and forcing women priests or gay priests on us but couldn’t you see it argued that when an employee’s main duties are not necessarily ecclesiastical or ministerial that the Church will no longer be able to say who it hires and fires. The government could just say, “oh he’s just the musical director” or “Oh he’s just a teacher.”
The government is already forcing Catholic hospitals to give out abortifacients. They’re forcing Catholic adoption centers to arrange gay adoptions. How long do we have before America and Catholicism are mutually exclusive?