It’s great to see the support for former Cathedral High School Dean and Athletic Director Christine Judd, who, as a Massachusetts resident, could legally marry her partner in the Commonwealth. What made her step down was the inevitable clash between her civil rights and the Catholic school’s religious right to employ people who agree to abide by its doctrine. Dozens of students and supporters of Christine Judd gathered at St. Michael’s Cathedral in Springfield. (WWLP):
“When I found out she was terminated and I found out why she was terminated, I was outraged and disgusted with the decision that was made. They have people working for them who are divorced, they have people who are using contraceptives, they have students who go to the school who are pregnant, and they don’t make them leave, so why should they decide to act on those principles now?” said Martin Boyle, a Cathedral High School Senior.
Springfield Diocese Spokesperson Mark Dupont says Bishop Timothy McDonnell was not available for an interview Sunday.
But Dupont says these students’ accusations are just speculation, and this is not a moral issue, but an employment issue.
Judd agreed to abide by school policy, which clearly indicates that administration members must uphold the doctrine and teachings of the Catholic Church.
“She has acknowledged to her credit, that she undertook actions this past summer, which were in violation of an agreement she freely accepted. Casting aside what she did, the nub of the issue is that we ask people to make agreements and we ask people to keep those agreements,” said Dupont.
The protests will appeal to the hearts and minds of those at the school and in the community; it won’t be the last time we see this clash occur. I see no successful legal recourse for Judd or others in similar cases, since the church can do what it wishes (barring acceptance of state funds), even if it’s inconsistent in enforcing its “morality clause.” What do you think?