No Choice, Says Priest to Teacher -- You're Gay, Okay, You're Married, You're Fired


Michael Griffin

Oh, those prickly Catholic priests, sticklers for the rules. Especially when you're the headmaster at a Catholic school. Rules are rules. There is no any choice.

Michael Griffin, an openly gay teacher the Holy Ghost Preparatory School, was fired from the Catholic institution he has worked at in Bensalem, Pennsylvania for the past 12 years. His crime? He applied for a marriage license. A same sex marriage to take place in New Jersey where it's legal.

Griffin who teaches French and Spanish, said his sexuality was no secret at the Bensalem school. As a matter of fact, he and his same-sex partner of 12 years had been dinner guests more than once at the home of the school president, Father James McCloskey. Everything was fine and dandy until the two gay men decided they wanted to sanctify their relationship with a legal marriage.

How does being legally married disqualify this teacher from being a good faculty member after being openly accepted for the past dozen years? The answer to that from the principal is simple: He has no choice.

No choice? That seems so convenient. Did he take into any consideration that Mr. Griffin has no choice either? His sexual identity isn't a choice. He didn't pick it up at school (coincidentally, he attended this same Holy Ghost Prep as a youth). If they believe sexuality is a choice, does it mean he learned to be gay at this Catholic school? If so, they have bigger problems there.

The sad thing is that by making his living conditions legal, this popular teacher is losing his job. For Holy Ghost Prep, it's okay to be homosexual and live outside the law, but try to bring love, decency and a marriage license into a relationship and the church is saying that's bad. No wonder Pope Francis has so many problems among his flock. Ignorance has pervaded many of their educational institutions.

Here's the story in video form. It's short but fills in some details. But you have the broad strokes of the failings of understanding at this Catholic institution. And I'm sure they're not alone. But what hypocrites this school is to welcome a good deserving teacher until he does something just and right. I guess you have to remove human emotion and tolerance for your fellow man/woman if you want to live by these limited tenets.


  • Bose

    Best headline I've seen for this story... thanks, David.

    For whatever reason, this one has really gotten under my skin. It's been reported elsewhere that the school's policies require teachers to be Christian, but practicing within Protestant denominations is OK for academic staff.

    So, he was apparently free to live outside of Catholic teaching on the necessity of confession, to receive non-Catholic Communion, to choose an interfaith hetero marriage or marry a divorced woman. Hell, the school wouldn't even intrude if he and his wife were committed to being a child-free family by whatever means they chose.

    The saddest piece of this is the message to the kids currently at the school. I was a public school kid all the way through, but I've been close enough to private school students to appreciate how deeply they value the cocoon they create. The schools get sold as uniquely special and safe, the kinds of places you can make a life with like Michael did. Until they prove to all kids there, not just the LGBTQ ones, that it's all conditional. You belong as a child of God until they decide to abort the relationship with you. Terrible message for a supposedly safe place.