Kansas City CTA supports fired Church Worker
When parishioners of St. Frances Xavier and their friends in the Kansas City community heard that their friend Colleen had been fired they rallied around her in support.
Colleen worked at the parish running outreach programs including the soup kitchen. The local paper profiled her work in a human interest story in May. The story also mentioned Colleen’s spouse, a local Lutheran pastor, who happens to also be a woman. Colleen says her employer knew about her marriage but that she generally doesn’t draw attention to her spouse’s gender while at work. Many Church Workers around the country work in this sort of “don’t ask, don’t tell” environment, and lately many have been fired when their relationships were reported to the Bishop. The parish priest asked Colleen to resign right after the story was published, and she believes he was pressured by the diocese.
When they heard the news, members of Call To Action’s local chapter got involved right away. They wrote a letter to the Bishop, co-signed by over 100 locals, which was also published in the local paper. “On May 11 Pope Francis told pilgrims to ‘knock at the doors of their pastors’ saying it would make them better bishops and priests.’ . A day later, in describing the role of the usher, he said, ‘But it was never the ministry of the closed door, never.’ At that very same moment Bishop Robert Finn removed a woman from her Christian ministry because she is in a same sex marriage . Unfortunately, this is only the latest discriminatory act by Kansas City bishops and some priests against gays and lesbians.” reads the letter. “Our faith teaches us to be inclusive, accepting and grateful for all of God’s creation while finding the good in all humanity. We can not silent while our gay brothers and sisters are isolated and discriminated against because of their sexual orientation and sexuality. We believe these actions represent grave social evil, not love and acceptance.”
The group is also planning to attend church services led by Colleen’s partner and to support them with prayer and donations. What a truly inspiring community standing together! To find out more about what we’re doing in support of Church Worker’s rights, stay tuned to our Church Worker Justice page.