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Ohio educator fired from Catholic school for supporting same-sex marriage

Refuses demand by Catholic Church to recant statements
Monday, February 11, 2013
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CINCINNATI — A Catholic school assistant principal was fired Monday over comments he made on his blog in support of gay marriage.

The Archdiocese of Cincinnati fired Mike Moroski from Purcell Marian High School, telling him in a termination letter that he had shown “poor judgment” and violated the teachings of the Catholic church, archdiocese spokesman Dan Andriacco said.

Mike Moroski

Moroski had anticipated the move after he refused to take down the blog post and hired an attorney.

In the January 27 post, titled “Choose your battles,” Moroski wrote:

I unabashedly believe that gay people SHOULD be allowed to marry. Ethically, morally and legally I believe this. I spend a lot of my life trying to live as a Christian example of love for others, and my formation at Catholic grade school, high school, 3 Catholic Universities and employment at 2 Catholic high schools has informed my conscience to believe that gay marriage is NOT something of which to be afraid.

To me, it seems our time would be much better spent worrying about the economy, our city’s failing pensions, retaining our big business neighbors and finding creative, efficient, effective ways to fund our excellent Cincinnati Public Schools.

Not much time left over to worry about gay people marrying one another.

Moroski told The Cincinnati Enquirer last week that he was following his conscience when he posted his support of marriage equality, and that he knew he the post violated the social media policy but doesn’t feel that he violated the teachings of the church.

“I put it up there because I really truly honestly believe it,” he said. “I’m absolutely willing to lose my job over this. The only difficult thing for me now is the students.”

Update: Late Monday morning, Moroski posted this statement on his blog:

On Monday, February 4, the Archdiocese of Cincinnati gave me an ultimatum after I expressed my personal opinion in support of freedom to marry for gay and lesbian couples. I was asked to resign as assistant principal at Purcell Marian High School, or keep my job until June by signing documents recanting my statements. I was given this ultimatum after I wrote a blog on my personal web page, http://mikemoroski.com entitled, “Choosing Your Battles.” I could not in good conscience recant my statements. The Archdiocese of Cincinnati has now put me on administrative leave with a pending termination.

As a proud Catholic, I’m heartbroken that my belief that all committed, loving couples should be able to make a public pledge to take responsibility for each other for a lifetime has led to this ultimatum. The expressions of solidarity I have already received from Catholic priests, sisters and justice leaders in the community strengthen my faith during this difficult time. Due to my formation in Catholic grade school, high school and three Catholic universities – not to mention my marriage to the best Catholic I know, my relationship with numerous clergy and a devout Catholic family – I have firmly rooted my life in the Gospel principles of love and justice.

After twelve years of working with teenagers whose respect I have earned, I simply can’t teach them the wrong lesson now and deny my convictions. I would not be able to look them in the eye. I have tried to instill a sense of faith and fortitude in all of them regarding issues of justice for my entire adult life. I did not turn down the Archdiocese’s terms in spite of my faith. I turned them down because of my faith.

The 34-year-old, who is married, had been in his second year at Purcell Marian High School after teaching at Moeller High School for 10 years.

Associated Press contributed to this report.

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