The right of a Catholic school to demand consistency between the teachings of the Church and the behaviors of its staff has been defended by Church hierarchy and upheld by the law in the case of a teacher who resigned.
The Waterloo Cedar Valley Catholic Schools Board on Monday voted unanimously to accept the resignation of Tom Girsch, 59, a longtime Catholic schoolteacher and coach at Columbus High School, reported the Des Moines Register.
This was the second vote in less than a month concerning Girsch's employment. It came at the request of Archbishop Jerome Hanus of Dubuque and the superintendent of schools. In its first vote in July, the board voted 6 to 8 to reject Girsch's resignation. Archdiocese officials argued that, in its first vote, Cedar Valley had acted contrary to archdiocese policy and Church law.
Girsch divorced in 1997 and was asked to resign when school officials found out he had remarried in August 2006. In an attempt to save his job, Girsch sought an annulment. When it was denied, he submitted his resignation.
Girsch failed to block the second vote when Black Hawk District Judge George Stigler said he would not interfere with the right of the Church to conduct its business, "even if an individual does suffer injury."