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Wednesday, February 15, 2012

South Charlotte Catholic church fires music director for getting married

Posted By on Wed, Feb 15, 2012 at 9:50 AM

OK, so we're admittedly late to this to this story, but it merits further commentary. St. Gabriel Catholic Church in south Charlotte, according to a story in the Charlotte Observer, doesn't appear to be so family friendly.

Here's what Mike Gordon wrote over the weekend:

The last five months have been eventful for Steav Bates-Congdon.

First he got married. Then he got fired.

The popular music director at St. Gabriel Catholic Church in south Charlotte lost his job last month for marrying his longtime partner in New York, one of seven states to recognize same-sex marriages.

We could make a snarky comment about what the Catholic church does allow, but that would be hitting below the belt. Not that St. Gabriel isn't already hitting below the belt.

Due to a recent Supreme Court ruling, the firing doesn't appear to be illegal, Gordon writes. But it doesn't bode well for civil rights.

The thing that irks us about this is that the church clearly didn't mind having a gay music director when he was "in his place." But Bates-Congdon had go and expect the same rights and privileges that other members share. The nerve of people!

In all seriousness, this is no different from African-Americans in the pre-civil rights years being welcome to cook and clean up for white folks so long as they didn't use the boss' bathroom. But then African-Americans had to go and ask for the same rights and privileges, too. The nerve of people!

Oh, and here's what Bates-Congdon's boss, the Rev. Frank O'Rourke, had to say to the music director after his four years of service, according to the Observer story: “Employees of St. Gabriel … are expected to live within the moral tradition of the Church…"

That is, unless you're a priest.

Read the Observer story here.

UPDATE: Based on a link provided by commenter below, we checked out a story in the Catholic News Herald, which quotes David Hains, diocesan director of communication, on O'Rourke's firing of Bates-Congdon.

"His same-sex union in 2011 was in direct opposition to [Diocese personnel] policies and the teachings of the Catholic Church, and his termination was based on this alone," Hains says. "Individuals engaged in ministry while at the same time in opposition to Church teaching present a confusing message to the people of faith who look to the Church for guidance on their journey to salvation."

Again, unless you're a priest.

Wonder what this guy would do?
  • Wonder what this guy would do?

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