Catholic school teacher forced to resign after disagreeing with church's gay marriage stance

At St. Joe's, critical thinking is a sin.
At St. Joe's, critical thinking is a sin.

In an end-of-the-school-year written self-evaluation, Trish Cameron, a fifth-grade teacher at St. Joseph's Catholic School in Moorhead, was asked whether she supported the Catholic Church's teachings.

Here's how she says she responded: "I do not agree w/ all Church teachings on a personal level but I do not bring my own opinions into our religion classes. We tend to focus on respect and love for one another and living out our call as servants whenever a 'political' topic crops (which it rarely, if ever, does)."

Her response raised red flags with school officials, and Cameron was called in for a meeting. During the meeting, she was asked to shed more light on her 'I do not agree with all Church teachings remark,' and she said, in particular, that she doesn't agree with the church's stance against gay marriage. At the conclusion of the meeting she was asked to submit her resignation.

According to the Fargo Forum, in the days since Cameron submitted her resignation, both she and school officials have sent letters to staff and church families sharing their respective versions of what went down. The letter written by Principal Toby Bierl and Superintendent and church Monsignor Mike Foltz says that because of "an unfortunate circumstance" and the school's "fiduciary responsibility" as a "Catholic-Christian school," Cameron was asked to resign.

For her part, Cameron, an 11-year veteran at St. Joe's, is handling her ouster with equanimity.

"In my honest to goodness heart, I want the interest in this story to build bridges for all the right reasons, not to tear things down," she told the Forum. "I feel like perhaps there is a wave of interest that may need to come and go before I speak about this."

More coverage of the Catholic Church's anti-gay marriage stance:
-- DeLeSalle student, during anti-gay school assembly, holds up sign: "I love my moms"
-- Twin Cities Archbishop: Same-sex marriage ban not debatable

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