What, you may ask, brought The Charles all the way up to Appleton? A flood on the Fox River? A revolution over the no smoking ordinance? Terri McCormick conceding to John Gard?
Nope. He went up there to talk about a teacher who got fired.
You may ask "Is THAT a News Event for a Milwaukee audience?" Well, not exactly--except the teacher was fired from a Catholic School (Xavier HS) for blatantly and openly violating her contract with the school--obtaining in vitro fertilization.
In other words, it's news because it's a Catholic matter. The Charles was quite sympathetic to the teacher, not to the Church (of which he is a member, by the way.)
It gets more interesting.
In Milwaukee, we are used to reading fairly well-researched and 'balanced' articles dealing with faith issues. Both M. Rohde and T. Heinen are reasonably dispassionate and usually can find responsible "experts" to speak to an issue.
Not in the Appleton Post-Crescent. Although the reporter does do a good job of presenting the facts of the matter, and of outlining the Catholic position on in vitro (it's immoral, period) the reporter is unable to find "a Catholic expert" who agrees with Xavier's action--firing the teacher for a contract violation.
Ms Squires DID manage to find a complete ass at Marquette:
But never in Marquette University theology professor Michael Fahey's experience has a teacher lost her job for going through in-vitro fertilization.
Based on what The P-C told him, Fahey, who is a priest, said that ACES and the diocese had more latitude than they may have realized with respect to Romenesko. It appears to him she allayed most of the church's objections.
"Most?" "Most?" There was only ONE, Father: it was in vitro.For example, she chose a doctor whose clinic does not destroy embryos or perform "selective reduction." Also, the sperm came from her husband, rather than a third-party donor.
Yah, hey. "The bank they robbed had a lot of extra money around, anyway. What's the big deal?""I would find it very unusual that you would get professional Catholic moral theologians to object to that," Fahey said.
ONE reason that we don't think too much of "professional" Catholic "moral" theologians, Father.
Ms. Squires went a bit further afield for her next "expert:"
However, another Catholic theologian, the Rev. James Keenan, doubts the church's teachings allow so much wiggle room. But nor do they require the church to act.
Specifically, Ms Squires--why does Fr. Keenan 'doubt' the wiggle room? Care to enlighten us?"The teaching doesn't seem, in my mind, to mean institutions should pursue or take punitive actions against someone who had this procedure," said Keenan, who teaches at Boston College.
He wonders where ACES would draw the line.
"If somebody said they were practicing birth control, would they be fired?" he asked. "If they ever got a divorce, would they be fired? If they mention they hid some income on their income tax?"
Duh. If you TELL the school that you are flagrantly violating a "morals" clause in your contract, they HAVE TO FIRE YOU!!! Note to self: never hire this dude as an HR manager.
Thank God Xavier has an attorney, Gregory Gill, Sr., with his head screwed on straight:
"However, for purposes of the employment setting, I believe that if an employee were to publicly espouse that he is going to engage in contraception with his spouse that is in direct violation of church teaching, or if he publicly espoused that he was cheating on his taxes or that he or she intended to become divorced, and followed through, and made a public pronouncement to that effect, I believe that employee would be terminated."
All the way to Appleton for a non-story, Charles?
It would be VERY interesting to know who provided The Charles with this "news tip." The Agenda was certainly in play.
UPDATE: AP runs the story too, which was picked up in Dallas (!!!) Believe it or not, they found an even worse seditionist at Marquette:
Mark Johnson, who teaches moral theology at Marquette University in Milwaukee, said the 1987 document was the first serious official church writing on the subject, and modifications could be possible.
"This is brand spanking new stuff in the life of a church that is 2,000 years old," Johnson said, noting that the Vatican now is considering allowing the use of condoms to help battle AIDS in Africa despite its longtime opposition to contraceptive devices.
As we noted a couple of days ago, the Vatican is NOT "considering" allowing rubbers, although fevered minds are working overtime to make it so...and what's dogmatic doesn't change, Mark. In vitro is un-natural--it's procreation via agency--and will NEVER be licit.
HT: Ipsissima Verba