Pink slip as wedding gift?

It's these kinds of stories that scare gay and lesbian people who work for Catholic institutions.

Last month Laine Tadlock, director of the education program at Benedictine University in Springfield, retired under pressure after the publication of a wedding announcement about Tadlock's marriage to her partner, Kae Helstrom. They were married in Iowa.

The university insists she was not fired, and was offered another position, which Tadlock did not accept. Yet, in a statement, they confirm that negative reaction to the public wedding announcement forced them to act.

"It was not Tadlock’s orientation, but rather the public disregard for fundamental Catholic beliefs which was the basis for the university’s decisions. These decisions were made only after full discussion with the appropriate diocesan officials," the statement said.

Bishop Thomas Paprocki of Springfield praised the move. "Benedictine University is to be commended for its fidelity to the truth in upholding the faith and morals as taught by the Catholic Church," he said in a statement.

Earlier this year, Paprocki criticized the University of Illinois for firing an adjunct religion professor who made anti-gay remarks in an email to a student. The diocese defended the professor's academic freedom to represent Catholic teaching.

The university, founded by the Ursuline Sisters, lists among its missions to have students to "benefit from diversity of opinions and cultures."


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