Unspoken: Homophobia in the archdiocese

Cathedral is Archbishop Thompson’s homophobic puppet

Demi Lawrence

Editor’s Note: A previous version of the article stated Cathedral High School received sponsorship money from the Archdiocese of Indianapolis without verification accompanied with an illustration. The article has since been updated to reflect only verified information.

Demi Lawrence is a junior journalism news major and writes "Unspoken" for The Daily News. Her views do not necessarily agree with those of the newspaper. Write to Demi at dnlawrence@bsu.edu.

A gay witch hunt is happening before our eyes in Indianapolis Catholic schools. Hungry eyes preaching “God’s law” scour the staff of the schools in the Archdiocese of Indianapolis, looking for any speck of “sinful” light. We are making national news for discriminatory behavior in institutions that should be educating our children, not showing them how to discriminate and hate.

First, it was Roncalli, then it was nearly Brebeuf. Now, it is Cathedral.

RELATED: Again, Roncalli?

On June 23 a letter posted to the Cathedral High School website by the school’s Board Chairman Matt Cohoat and President Rob Bridges explained that after 22 months of discussion with Archbishop Charles C. Thompson, it would be no longer employing a teacher in an open, same-sex marriage. Had it kept employing this teacher, Cathedral would have been forced to “[forfeit their] Catholic identity” at the orders of the archdiocese.

Everyone is up in arms at Cathedral. I got to my car yesterday after seeing Toy Story 4 to see the news notification pop up on my phone, and laughed.

“Oh, we love that,” I said sarcastically to my boyfriend. I screamed and cried the entire car ride back to his house, cursing Cathedral and thanking God I decided not to go there. 

After taking some time to think, reflect and educate myself on the situation, I do not think the fault lies in Cathedral, but solely in the archdiocese. I truly believe that Cathedral — had their Catholic identity not been rescinded — would have kept employing this gay teacher. But Archbishop Thompson gave Cathedral no choice, basically telling it to exist without the teacher or not exist as a Catholic institution at all.

Another Catholic school in Indianapolis, Brebeuf Jesuit Preparatory School, basically gave Archbishop Thompson a rainbow-encrusted middle finger the size of Manhattan just days before when it decided to part from the archdiocese and keep an openly gay teacher on its staff. 

While I applaud Cathedral greatly, in my eyes it was simply easier for it to kiss their Catholic identity goodbye.

While Brebuef is geographically part of the archdiocese, according to a New York Times article, it is not financially dependent on it. It also does not receive diocesan priests from the archdiocese as Cathedral does, and is affiliated with and sponsored by Midwest Jesuits, an order of Catholic priests. 

In the letter, Cohoat and Bridges point out that had Cathedral chosen to part with the Archdiocese of Indianapolis and Archbishop Thompson, “Cathedral would lose its 501(c)(3) status thus rendering Cathedral unable to operate as a nonprofit school,” along with its ability to celebrate Catholic sacraments and reserve the Blessed Sacrament in their chapel’s tabernacle.

All it is is a homophobic, political puppet show. 

It’s control, it’s hate, it’s disrespect. 

Religion should be used to liberate, to comfort and to empower. 

This was never what religion was intended for.

Archbishop Thompson, how does it feel knowing you metaphorically held a knife to Cathedral’s throat, giving it virtually no other option than to fire this teacher? Does it feel good to find another homo lurking in the halls of your beloved school and out them as scum, embarrass them and leave them without a job for reasons they cannot help: for loving someone, just as your Jesus and God commanded you to do? Do you feel as if you are “loving” this teacher by terminating their career like this?

I know you don’t care about what some liberal college student like me thinks. But your archdiocese does — they are petitioning against this decision right now — and we are sick and tired of the terribly outdated Leviticus scripture being used to do one of the biggest things Jesus preached against: hate. 

Check yourself, your privilege and your power before you step in front of the gates of heaven someday. It is not your place to be God and judge, and it never will be.

Oh, and read Matthew 7:1-5 for me.


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