Eastside Catholic President Who Fired Gay Vice Principal Resigns

A Jesuit priest recently observed that the Seattle students who were insisting on the reinstatement of their gay deputy principal were following Pope Francis’ hope that young people would “make a mess” in their dioceses. Just before that, a report in the Seattle Post concluded from available evidence that the students were winning. News today that the school principal has now resigned, following the earlier example of the chairman of the school board, indicates that he was right – the students clearly are winning.

Students protest firing of Catholic vice prinicipal for gay marriage

But they have their own standards, they have not won, yet. First, must come the reinstatement of Mr Z. Thereafter, a much tougher ask – a change in church teaching. That’s less likely than their primary demand, but no longer an impossible dream.

 From Bondings 2.0:

A month of walk outs, petitions, and intense media attention is creating change at Eastside Catholic High School as the school’s president and CEO announced her resignation abruptly yesterday. In December, Sr. Mary Tracy terminated Vice Principal Mark Zmuda after he married his husband, triggering an ongoing movement for his reinstatement called #KeepMrZ2013. The Seattle Times reports further:

“It comes just days before a planned schoolwide meeting Thursday, during which board members — who have been the target of persistent lobbying by students, alumni and parents — are expected to field parents’ questions…

“Tracy’s statements about whether Zmuda was fired or resigned, and what role the Seattle archbishop played in that decision, at times contradicted those of the school’s attorney and the archdiocese.”

Zmuda also claims that Tracy told him divorcing his husband would allow him to keep his job. Her resignation is seen by Zmuda’s supporters as a sign that Eastside Catholic’s board is now seriously engaging this issue. It is not, however, an end for their movement, which seeks both Zmuda’s reinstatement and reform of the Church’s approach to sexuality issues.

The president’s letter follows the resignation of Eastside Catholic’s board chair earlier this month. This whole situation highlights how widespread the harm is when Catholic schools implement anti-LGBT policies.

You can read Bondings 2.0‘s past coverage of #KeepMrZ2013 below.  We will continue to update this story as it develops.

Bob Shine, New Ways Ministry

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