The Student News Site of Malvern Preparatory School

Friar's Lantern

The Student News Site of Malvern Preparatory School

Friar's Lantern

The Student News Site of Malvern Preparatory School

Friar's Lantern

Holy Ghost Prep stirs controversy with decision to fire homosexual teacher

Holy Ghost Prep administration’s recent decision to fire a gay teacher raises questions

Holy Ghost Preparatory School, in Bensalem, PA , has recently terminated the contract of a teacher because he applied for a marriage license in the State of New Jersey. The former teacher and alumnus of the school is gay and Holy Ghost officials say the reason for termination is that the teacher violated the school’s clause of upholding the values of the Catholic Church in his contract.

Mr. Michael Griffin, a teacher of Spanish and French, has worked at Holy Ghost for the past 12 years. He devoted himself to the school and towards the students. Former students report that he was a nice guy. In a day when teachers are scarce as they come, why are we firing someone because their lifestyle is different?

There appears to be a difference in the eyes of the religious about what is considered “sensitive” in the Catholic Church. Many Catholics have political and personal opinions that differ from the Church’s doctrine. Some Catholics believe that workers should not have a right to organize. Some Catholics believe that women should hold clergy roles. Some Catholics get married on a beach or in a garden, instead of in a Church.

Fr. Chris Drennen posed the question, “How do you pick and choose what doctrines you hold onto?”

Drennen said, “The challenge for Holy Ghost Prep is what if they find out a straight person is living with their partner before marriage?  It’s just as serious of an offense against the Church.”

We need to apply this standard to the whole entire faith community. If one is going to be singled out and fired for not following one tenet of the Church, every person’s history who works at an institution should be examined. Application of the same standard to all teachings is of the utmost importance when it comes to faith and teaching at a religiously affiliated institution.

From the conversation with Fr. Drennen, the idea that Malvern is different in how we would approach the issue was apparent.

“Mr. Talbot has said that he wants a diverse faculty and staff, including sexual orientation, and that’s been accepted by the Board.  So I think we would be in a different situation,” said Fr. Drennen.

It must be said that Father Chris is not condoning the actions of Mr. Griffin. He emphasized that marriage is such a public act that a Catholic school had to say something. He also thought the school could have halted the teacher’s contract when they were in a civil union. A civil union is also a public show of love.

One would think that the Church should be happy with the man’s decision. He chose love and commitment to a partner over his career. Isn’t that what we look for in heterosexual marriage? People are people no matter what lifestyle they practice.

One of Griffin’s former students was quoted in the Huffington Post: “Being homosexual outside of the school does not affect a man’s ability to teach or a student’s ability to learn.”

If schools fire teachers because of their beliefs, is the next step expelling students because of theirs? There are some students who are pro-choice on campus, yet they love the Catholic education they are receiving. We have atheists on our campus who chose to go to Malvern over a public school, there must be a reason.

The bottom line is the that your personal beliefs or lifestyle should not matter when it comes to teaching a class. Two quotes that should have been the reaction to the news are by Pope Francis and one by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

“Who am I to judge?”

“We must learn to live together as brothers, or we will perish together as fools.”

Holy Ghost, your peers are watching you.

View Comments (1)
More to Discover

Comments (1)

All Friar's Lantern Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

  • C

    Christopher WhiteJan 6, 2014 at 10:19 pm

    After just discussing this situation with my brother, all I have to say is wow. First off I’m disappointed by the fact that whoever censors these articles allowed this to be written the way it was written. Let’s start off with the fact that this is a complete and total biased “blog”, some of these recent articles have been out of hand, and students and alumni have taken notice. This is such a cowardly way of forcing this agenda onto other kids by trying to put in quotes by Pope Francis and Martin Luther King Jr. The quotes are taken way out of context and have no basis and relation whatsoever to this situation. It’s disappointing that in today’s world where the traditional and normal way of living, which is so under fire, can’t even be supported on a blog run by a Catholic School. At Catholic schools kids my age come to get their Faith nourished by their adult teachers and put trust in them. Every person deserves respect and a chance, but when an action violates the Catholic Church’s doctrine and belief, which has been in place for thousands of years, this doctrine and belief must be defended, and so I find it offensive that you are trying to make excuses for this teacher. The quote by Pope Francis goes, “If someone is gay and seeks the Lord in good will, who am I to judge?” So the fact that you left out the most important part of that quote makes it completely irrelevant to this situation. There is no good will in this man’s attempt to seek “marriage.” In no way is that bringing him closer to God in that action, and in no way is that spreading the good news of the Gospel to the students at Holy Ghost Prep. Holy Ghost’s action has nothing to do with the person they fired, it has to do with an action that violates Church teachings, and therefore the community that the school is trying to foster.