LISLE, Illinois (CBS) – Benet Academy in Lisle hired a gay lacrosse coach last week after previously canceling the offer because she is married to a woman – but in a new twist, the abbey that oversees the Catholic school has delivered strong words.
Last week, the board of directors of the Benet Academy announced that it had proposed to Amanda Kammes to be the next head coach of women’s lacrosse. The board said Kammes accepted the offer.
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The board noted that Benet Academy is a Catholic high school and had postponed its employment discussions with Kammes after learning that she was married to a woman. But the school board has since determined that Kammes was the right candidate and offered her the job, the board said.
The move came after protests from students, alumni and faculty over the school’s previous choice to cancel Kammes’ job offer due to his sexual orientation.
But on Tuesday, Father Austin G. Murphy of St. Procopius Abbey – who oversees Benet – said he was “deeply troubled” by a decision that goes against the teaching of the Catholic Church. .
“The case raises the question of what a Catholic high school should demand of those who work with and train its students. In particular, must the testimony of their public life not be in opposition to Catholic morality? he wrote. “I believe this requirement is necessary and, therefore, I am deeply disturbed by the school’s decision which calls into question its adherence to the doctrines of the Catholic faith. In turn, I want to let everyone know that I take this question in prayer and discern how to proceed. “
Austin went on to write that Pope Francis “made it clear that our love and respect for all people is not at odds with the Church’s doctrine on the sacrament of marriage and teachings on sexuality,” and added that beliefs about the morality of same-sex relationships should not be equated with hatred.
“(I) it is important to note that honest disagreements over the morality of homosexual acts should not be interpreted as hatred,” Austin wrote. “If we give in to the voices that say disagreement equals hatred, then we allow civil discourse to perish. “
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Benet Academy declined to comment on Tuesday on the role of the abbot within the school or whether he has the power to again cancel the offer to Kammes.
More than 2,000 people had signed a petition urging Benet Academy in Lisle to reconsider and hire Kammes. They said her background as a lacrosse coach should be the primary focus of her job, not the woman she loves.
“The most frustrating part of it all is that Amanda was not hired as a religion teacher, or in a position where she would be responsible for supporting the religious practices or traditions of the Catholic Church,” said Tim Jacklich. , former of the Benet Academy, to Suzanne Le Mignot of CBS 2. Last week.
Kammes supporters said the job offer was canceled after Kammes listed his wife’s name as an emergency contact.
“This former student, who wants to come back and support her school – she didn’t have value, or didn’t deserve to be recognized and celebrated, because of who she loves,” said Jacklich.
Benet Academy assistant lacrosse coach Colleen Savell also spoke on the topic.
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“It was taken one hundred percent because of who she was married to,” Savell told CBS 2’s Charlie De Mar last week. “I want Benet’s girls and students to know it’s not OK. This is not the example we should be setting for students here.