"Archbishop Thompson made it clear that Cathedral's continued employment of a teacher in a public, same-sex marriage would result in our forfeiting our Catholic identity due to our employment of an individual living in contradiction to Catholic teaching on marriage."
"Therefore, in order to remain a Catholic Holy Cross School, Cathedral must follow the direct guidance given to us by Archbishop Thompson and separate from the teacher," said the letter, signed by Matt Cohoat, chairman of Cathedral High School's board of directors, and Rob Bridges, the school's president.
A few days prior, the Archdiocese of Indianapolis announced that another high school, Brebeuf Jesuit Preparatory School, would no longer be recognized as a Catholic school following a two-year disagreement about the employment of a teacher in a civil same-sex marriage.
School leaders at Brebeuf said that to follow the instruction from the archdiocese "would not only violate our informed conscience on this particular matter, but also set a concerning precedent for future interference in the school's operations."
The Code of Canon Law recognizes the diocesan bishop's responsibility to ensure that religion teachers are "outstanding in true doctrine, in the witness of their Christian life, and in their teaching ability." The diocesan bishop has the right to approve religion teachers and, "if religious or moral considerations require it, the right to remove them or to demand that they be removed."
In a press conference June 27, Archbishop Thompson stressed that the teacher was removed not because he was gay, but because he had contracted a same-sex marriage, in opposition to Church teaching on marriage.
All people should be treated with love and respect, and sexual orientation in itself is not sinful, the archbishop said, according to the Criterion.
However, he added, the Church is clear in teaching that the proper role of sexual activity is within a marriage between one man and one woman.
The issue in cases such as Brebeuf and Cathedral, he said, "is about public witness of Church teaching on the dignity of marriage as one man and one woman. That is our Church teaching."
"In this particular case we're dealing with, those are ministers in our Church. Teachers, guidance counselors, other leaders, leaders of the schools and other leaders in the archdiocese are bound to live out these principles."