St. Mary band director fired for gay wedding plans

(UPDATED WITH FULL STORY)
Alissa Widman Neese
Jan 11, 2014

 

Sandusky Central Catholic School forced its band and choir director to resign this week, shortly after officials learned he and his boyfriend recently became engaged to be married.
 
Brian Panetta, who is in his fifth year of employment, initially received a letter of termination Jan. 3, which stated he was fired for violating the moral and religious teachings of the Catholic Church.

This letter came just hours after Panetta approached the school’s president about his engagement, to discuss if an end-of-the-year resignation would help avoid any conflicts concerning his gay relationship, he said.

On Thursday, however, Panetta met with school administrators, a priest and representatives from the Catholic Diocese of Toledo, who offered more information and agreed he could resign instead of having a termination on his record, he said.    

“I’m satisfied with their explanation, and right now I’m just praying for understanding and strength,” Panetta said. “It’s hard for me to walk away, but it’s what’s best for me personally, and I hope my students will understand that.”

Panetta and his fiancé, Nathan David, started dating while attending the University of Dayton five years ago. They plan to wed in July 2015.

Their relationship wasn’t a secret to the Sandusky Central Catholic School community, as David often attended school events and met several students and their families, Panetta said.

“This community has been like a family to me, and I’ve always had nothing but support,” Panetta said. “I never had to hide.”

After David popped the question on Christmas Day, however, Panetta said he knew things could get complicated.

All Sandusky Central Catholic School employees must sign a contract stating they will live a lifestyle according to the Catholic faith, he said.

“I knew if we ever wanted to get married, it would limit my time teaching at the school I love,” Panetta said. “When I met with the diocese, they basically told me my engagement is a public statement of my support for equality for gay marriage, which the Catholic Church does not support.”

Panetta identifies as Catholic and attended Catholic school for grades K-12. He said working at Sandusky Central Catholic School was an ideal first job.

In his four and a half years working there, Panetta grew the school’s band from 18 to about 50 members, and also produced similar numbers for its choir. He oversaw band for grades 5-12 and choir for grades 7-12.

Panetta said he still doesn’t feel his work is done, but he understands why he is no longer permitted to work at the school. After Thursday’s resignation agreement, he said he feels he is stepping down with the school’s support.

He distributed a letter to the school community Friday that announced his resignation and his engagement to David, in which he called himself a “proud and gay Catholic”

“The hardest part was not getting to speak to (my students) about it, so I’m thankful for that opportunity,” Panetta said. “Everyone knows about my lifestyle, and I always thought the best way to handle this was to be upfront, honest and proactive. I just wanted to provide clarity about this situation”

It’s unknown who will take over Panetta’s job, as students resumed classes Thursday after winter break extended three extra days because of bad weather.

After the Register left a message for Sandusky Central Catholic School president Melody Curtis on Wednesday, she responded within minutes with an emailed statement.

“Mr. Panetta is no longer employed at Sandusky Central Catholic School,” the statement said. “We do not discuss personnel situations with the media.”

Two days later, however, she emailed a revised statement, which she also distributed to the school community.

“It is with great sadness that we extend to you that Mr. Brian Panetta has resigned his position today as director and coordinator of music at Sandusky Central Catholic School,” it said. “Although parting ways is never easy, especially in the midst of a school year, we would like to thank Mr. Panetta for his devotion and service to the school, and the gifts and talents he brought to the music program.”

The statement also provided a link to Panetta’s letter, both of which will be available on the Register’s website.

The school hired Curtis as president this past summer after adopting the president-principal administrative model for the first time. She was previously executive director of Monroe Catholic Elementary Schools in Monroe, Mich., and has almost 15 years of experience in Catholic education.

Sally Oberski, director of communications for the Catholic Diocese of Toledo, which oversees Catholic schools in Northwest Ohio, said she couldn’t offer any additional comments about the situation when contacted Thursday.

A Catholic school’s decisions involving personnel are “local decisions,” and the diocese’s role is simply to be available for consultation if the school desires it, Oberski said.

“The school has a governing board, a president and a principal, and it’s a local decision,” Oberski said. “There’s nothing more I can tell you than what the local leadership has told you.”

Because Sandusky Central Catholic School is not funded by taxpayer dollars, it is not required to release personnel files or other documents to the Register.

Click here to read letter from school's director

Click here to read letter from Panetta to students

Click here to visit Brian Panetta's website

Comments

DickTracey

Wow, you should be ashamed, St. Mary's.

Unassumer

If more people would start thinking for themselves and stop believing antiquated 'teachings' that have no bearing on modern society, we'd all be better off. While there are many good passages in the bible, there are just as many that contain confusing or outdated ideals. There is no instruction book for life; if you treat others as you yourself would like to be treated you will probably fare well. If you expect others to believe as you do, well then you won't get far even if you use the bible to back you up.

DEEPsix's picture
DEEPsix

YOU ARE SOOOOO WRONG... Look up "A" book called the TALMUD, AND "THE" ZOHAR... They may be beyond your intellect, but you will learn piece by piece, there IS A BOOK FOR LIVING A LIFE ON THIS RELM...

Factitious

So, back to lower case...

This will prove to be a question of sovereignty.

It is the position of the Catholic Church that all governments are subordinate to God. That sounds OK until you realize that it also holds that it alone represents God. Does it follows that the government of We the People are all subordinate to the Catholic Church? That claim is never heard directly but often implied in expressions of opposition to laws it doesn't like.

This issue goes way beyond freedom of religion and separation. The question at hand is whether ANY church may violate a person's constitutional rights because it doesn't like them.

At the end of it all, the courts will end up deciding whether it's the government that is sovereign, or a church. And that can only lead to one conclusion, because if it's a church, then which one? You can't have freedom of religion if you favor one religion's beliefs over another. All religions must be subject to the sovereign state, and everything else is untenable.

Truth2u

Only a person who never read the bible would post such rubbish.

Dcfred20036

I have resigned my alumni membership, 1982. Will the school president also terminate employees who are divorced, maybe are obviously using birth control, all violations of catholic teachings? My guess: not, they never have. Memo to SMCC parents: there is a world beyond Sandusky, Oh and the school is doing a disservice to your children. The school now will be forever associated with this unfortunate event, and it does not have to be this way: Pope Francis said, "If someone is gay and he searches for the Lord and has goodwill, who am I to judge?" Mr Panetta saved the band from near-extinction and he is loved by his students and band parents. Right a wrong, give the students their band director back!

DickTracey

Dcfred, to answer your question, NO they will not fire other teachers that do not live the lifestyle of the Catholic teachings.

They will turn a blind eye to them, just as they did with Brian for over four years, he was not hiding the fact that he had a boyfriend.

St. Mary's left themselves wide open for a lawsuit. They knew for years he was in a same sex relationship, yet they allowed him to continue to teach.

The contract doesn't say, you are allowed to be gay, but your not allowed to get engaged to the same sex. He broke the contract the minute he signed it, and they did nothing.

No one has mentioned the silent victim in this mess...the poor little boys that are just coming of age, and have feelings for the same sex. They may have looked up to, or been able to relate to Mr. Panetta. Now they are watching what happens if you admit your feelings, or come out. You get fired from a job you love and are good at. As if their lives were not confusing enough already.

I read one commenter who said "this is so hard to explain to our younger kids, why Mr.Penetta is gone." like you can't tell the younger kids he is gay, because that is gross and wrong!

I pity all kids being brainwashed at Sandusky St. Mary's .

DCFRED is right! There is life outside Sandusky kids, run!!!

DickTracey

Many current St. Mary's parishioners also turned a blind eye when Rev. Lawrence Varney was there!

All they did was pass him along to another church, no one called the police.

These same people now think they can pass judgement on on a young man in love, not hurting anyone.

Shame on you St. Mary's .

anthras

dicktracey says :St. Mary's left themselves wide open for a lawsuit. They knew for years he was in a same sex relationship, yet they allowed him to continue to teach.

Dick, the Catholic has no problems with gay persons and no problems with gay persons that have friends. However the engagement would conclude that they are planning to live as a married couple including sex. Ergo just being gay is no problem and being gay with a gay friend is no problem but making a commitment to live as a married couple then becomes a problem.

A straight male could have a female friend however you could not conclude that just because they are friends that they are having a sexual relationship but if they become engaged you could conclude that they are planning on marriage which is good however if they engage in a marriage type relationship without getting married is wrong.

DickTracey

I see, anthras, that after drinking so much Catholic Kool-Aid, you can't even think clearly and, do not realize how full of hatred your comments truly are.

You see, us normal people know that when a person is dating a person for five years, one can only conclude they are having sex.

I wasn't brainwashed my entire childhood, by religion. So it's confusing to me why a man can't just marry a man? After all, you all think it's perfectly normal for a man to marry a brick and mortar church.

I only wish the Catholic would fire pedophile priests as quickly as they fired this innocent man.

anthras

DickTracey says ; I see, anthras, that after drinking so much Catholic Kool-Aid, you can't even think clearly and, do not realize how full of hatred your comments truly are.

Dick I am truly sorry that you were not able to comprehend what I was saying. In lieu of hatred I was only giving persons the benefit of the doubt. You allude to normal people however it has been said that a man thinks of others as he thinks in his own heart so if you conclude that they are having sex then in your mind that is how you feel however I feel sure that there are persons out there that have had friends and long engagements that have saved themselves until the wedding night.

Even if a normal person would conclude that they were having sex it could not be proven and a person could be normal in some ways but not in every way. Ergo giving them the benefit of the doubt I feel is showing understanding and compassion in lieu of hatred as you allege.
I can also say that as being baptized and raised as a Greek Orthodox that the Catholic Religion is a somewhat liberal and then there are religions that are very liberal allowing persons to choose what they wish.

sugar

HeyDC we support your decision!

concernedtruth

I would rather stand with an organization that stands on the Word of God than one that stands against the Word of God.

sugar

I've been raised Catholic, 8 years in Catholic school, when we went to Mass every morning. In all those years I heard over and over to love everyone, no matter what. Remember the story of the leper who touched Jesus robe and was healed, the people wanted to stone her for touching the Lord, his reply indicated that he would prefer her to touch him than any of the hypocrites.

Curley

Sugar no truer words are spoken we were always taught to love one another this surely isn't happening.

concernedtruth

Sugar, you're scripture interpretation is inaccurate, the scripture you are talking about is the woman with the issue of blood and she was not going to be stoned. Your reference of the stoning was the woman who was caught in an adulterous affair and Jesus who was writing in the sand, looked up to the hypocrites and said whomever is without sin may cast the first stone and they all walked away. Please be accurate with your scripture verses. The leper verse was never about a woman or anyone being stoned.

sugar

Sorry, but the moral remains the same. That's the important part

Raoul Duke

Maybe he should have found another job first. It's not like he didn't know this would happen, obviously. People need an income to survive.
Though, it's kind of un-Christian-like of SMCC to demand an immediate termination.

Truth2u

"The further away society moves away from the truth, the more it will hate those who speak it"

Yours and other anatomists posts against St Mary's prove Orwell's quote to be accurate.

takeastand

Hate the sin and not the sinner! However St. Mary's is not hating this man just cannot allow him to continue to disobey the Christian laws. I think our society has become way to liberal against God's word. No we should not haters but we cannot bury our heads in the sand either. Sin is sin and their are consequences!

whyilefttown

a sin written in a book by another human in a world rule by men

whyilefttown

what I find hilarious is the catholic church will go to great lengths to hide and move around pedifile priest not fire them (that's actually a crime Catholics case you're wondering)

justsaying..

Moderators have removed this comment because it contained Personal attacks (including: name calling, presumption of guilt or guilt by association, insensitivity, or picking fights).

YoMamma

Why should they be ashamed? They are a CATHOLIC school. What if it was a Muslim school and the teacher did something against their teachings? Would you say the same?

coasterfan

But it IS against their teachings, YoMamma. The New Testament says a lot more about treating your common man with respect, dignity, forgiveness and unconditional love than it does about homosexuality. This decision is far less about the Bible than it is about MAN'S judgemental nature.

Babo

You clearly are not familiar with the New Testament and the teachings of Christ as Catholics believe. He taught that all sexual activity outside of a marriage between a man and a woman is sinful and we will be judged by Him. Sin can be forgiven but there has to be desire to repent and acknowledge the sin and not continue to engage in the sin.

This is what the Pope meant when he said who am I to judge as long as the person is right with God. To be right with God, a Catholic has to be striving not to sin (impossible) and to be truly sorry when we do sin. We are not given carte blanche to willfully continue to engage in conduct we believe to be immoral. There has to be genuine repentance and a desire to change.

The Answer Person

So are you then going to get rid of the adulterers and divorced staff as well? Or just this particular "sin"?

Babo

The decision is not mine to make. It is up to the individual to decide if they need to "remove" themselves from the Roman Catholic Church because he or she disagrees with fundamental teaching of the church.

In the case of employees of the Roman Catholic Church, one would assume that if a married teacher at any Catholic School openly and flagrantly entered into and continued an adulterous relationship, that the teacher would be terminated for violation of the morals clause in the contract. Your question about divorce is not relevant because divorce for certain grounds is recognized through the church.

This is a private employer and like any private employer has the right to establish rules of conduct that the employer deems is not consistent with its Institutional policies. For example, in professional baseball, a player will be thrown out for betting on baseball. In medicine a Doctor will loss his or her license for engaging in sex with a patient.

And if the Sandusky Register has any moral/ethical standards for journalists, a reporter or editor would be fired for fabricating a story or sensationalizing a private matter for the sake of monetary gain i.e. web hits.

cockynurse

I agree, Babo.

John Harville

This is NOT a private employer. This employer receives public taxpayer dollars for things like its lunch program, certain teaching specialists, occupational therapy for certain students, transportation subsidies, withholds tax for Medicare, utilizes public agencies for background checks, pays BWC taxes.
In recent years the Diocese 'downsized' a teacher in an area Catholic school... the teacher sued, the Diocese lost.
The school/dioces also pays FICA taxes AND is charged for Unemployment Compensation.
Oh... and about the site of home football games? Even though they pay a rental, that stadium is provided/supported by public taxpayers.
Seldom, though, do "good Catholics" want to take the Church to court.

Babo

OK John Harville, then every private business that pays income taxes accepts grant funding, and any individual who receives any benefit whatsoever from the government has no right to their personal values? For example the NAACP can be forced to retain an employee who decides to become a skinhead or joins the KKK?

coasterfan

Score: Answer Person 1, Bobo 0

Geez75

AMEN Answer Person!

JMOP's picture
JMOP

@Babo
You're right.
I wish more people would understand this. I'm not even catholic, but I grew up baptist, and was taught the same exact way.

Stop It

That would be the words of Paul, not Jesus. Paul taught his own brand of christianity.

Babo

If you are going to post comments about the Church, i.e. the Body of Christ, you really should provide citations to support your point. The Church has been around a lot longer than the US and it will be around when this nation collapses from within due to moral decay just as happened repeatedly to nations throughout history.

In Matthew Chapter 19, Jesus Christ states that marriage is between a man and a woman, a union created by God. This union is the foundation of human life and the social order as ordained by the Creator. The union predates the existence of communities, villages, cities, states and nations and man made law.

Jesus also states that some people are incapable of marriage for a number of reasons and are to accept their role in life. In other words, if one is homosexual, one can be a member of the Church and right with God (not engaged willfully in sin), if one practices celibacy.

Stop It

Hello pot...WTF is up with you today and how is your game goin'?

John Harville

Babble: Noting The Church allows divorced Catholics to remarry, heed your own admonition to provide citations.
Matt 19:3--12.
The Pharisees (those rascals) asked if it right for a man to divorce his wife (notice the specific question about 'wife' which does not exclude other unions). Jesus (verse 6) says a man and his wife "are no longer two but one" and "let no man put asunder".
The Pharisees pushed on and asked why Moses in his 600+ commandments said a man could give his wife a bill of divorce. Jesus says Moses allowed it but "from the beginning it was not so".
In verse 9 Jesus says whoever divorces a wife - except for unchastity - and marries another commits adultery and causes her to commit adultery.... (verse 11)"Not all men can receive this precept but only those to home it is given...he who is able to receive it, let him receive it"
THE CHURCH throughout the centuries you mention has changed its position... for centuries Priests were allowed to be married...until Dunstan put an end to it. And that's just one example.

Babo

I stated allows some divorced Catholics to remarry.

Your statement that reference to 'wife' does not exclude other unions is ignorant and proves you know nothing of the times the statements were made.

Moses didn't give Commandments, but the Mosiac law. The law at that time concerning a man giving his wife a Bill of Divorce was due to the "hardness of men's hearts" and intended to protect women from adulterous and or abusive men. These are grounds on which a marriage will be annulled (it's an "unlawful marriage") in the Catholic church and a person allowed to remarry in the Church today.

Nothing prevents a Catholic from entering into civil marriages or civil divorces. It's just that the Church will not recognize these marriages or divorces for its members and that member would have to examine their heart to determine whether they can participate in the Eucharist.

What is your point about Priests being allowed to marry? Yes they were allowed to marry women not men in the past.

John Harville

Read your Cathechism. The Church is "The Bride of Christ"

anthras

coaster fan says :The New Testament says a lot more about treating your common man with respect, dignity, forgiveness and unconditional love than it does about homosexuality.

But if it says that homosexuality is wrong only one time it would be wrong. We do love the homosexual as a person however his engaging in any sex acts with a person of the same sex is wrong just as it is for a male and female to have sex outside of wedlock.

John Harville

"...sex outside of wedlock..." But in Matthew 19:9 Jesus allows divorcing a wife for unchastity...He also says divorce for any other reason, if either remarries, commits adultery.
...male and female to have sex outside of wedlock. Does that include SMCC students? I notice you didn't mention masturbation - which the Church considers "sex outside of wedlock". What about oral or 'interruptus' which the Church also considers sinful since it is contrary to the production of children - which is the primary purpose of sex within wedlock.
So if an SMCC student tells the priest or principle s/he has engaged in any of the above....?

Babo

A student will be told to participate in an act of contrition and to sin no more.

John Harville

Doesn't the student first have to 'confess' contrition and belief that the action is, first of all, a sin?
And the people who utilize 'interruptus' within a sacred marriage? Must they too be told to participate in an act of contrition?
It seems the only problem in this instance is that the music teacher chose not to commit a greater sin by living a lie.
BTW, Babo, I haven't heard ANYONE say this couple was engaging in any sexual act. How do we know their relationship is not chaste?
BTW once more, Babble. Nowhere does your CHURCH say ANYTHING about being engaged to marry.

Unassumer

People should not be fired for their sexuality or personal beliefs. It is wrong that employers can dictate what you can do, who you can see, what you can believe. We have allowed employers to have all the rights and employees to have none. That is what is wrong with this. If you can't see that, then you really need to open your mind.

Babo

So if it's an employee's personal belief that sex with animals, shoes or inanimate objects is a good thing and he brings those beliefs into the workplace, the employer has no grounds to fire him? Or what if an employee does not believe in property ownership rights and believes he is entitled to take other people's property. That's ok because his personal belief is that all property belongs to everyone?

I think you are advocating anarchy.

Lakerielife

Unless he was bringing his boyfriend into the classroom and discussing his relationship...his personal beliefs were not at work. He was just at work doing his job.

John Harville

AMEN Lake Erie.
Wonder if Babble EVER, since he had the ability, ever played pocket pool. If so, did he confess it?

John Harville

Wow BABBLE... we sure can tell when you're losing the argument and your perspective.
Shoes? Inanimate objects? Oh! But your hand is not inanimate so watching you play pocket pool shouldn't be abhorrent?
And how did we jump to property rights?
Actually the priest can give dispensation for anything...like a few years ago when the choir director and priest draped the Altar/table in black cloth and used it as part of the stage for Godspell.

sugar

LMAO, you,re killing them.

mikeylikesit

promote him to priest!

YoMamma

He left with grace and dignity by reading his letter. Best of luck to Brian!

DickTracey

So, wait, just so I have this straight.

If you are a St. Mary's priest that has been caught with numerous little boys, that's ok, we will just shuffle you along, to another church. We will put on our rose colored glasses, (wont tell the police) and send you off to a new church.

But if you are a talented band director, who is in love and in a committed relationship, we are going to fire you! It doesn't matter that we loved you and accepted you for five years, now that you are honest and open, we hate you!

wally44824

Typical hypocrisy that you get from that place and religion.

Commenter

Right on!

coasterfan

Panetta can hold his head high, for he did nothing wrong. After reading the letter he wrote to his students, I think he is truly a class act, which is more than I can say for the Catholic Church, both locally and globally.

What would Jesus do? He wouldn't have fired Panetta, that's for sure. But then, Jesus was a loving person, an inclusive guy who would open the door to anyone. The fact that St.Mary's closed the door says far more about them than it does about Mr. Panetta.

Brian has something in common with another good person who was wrongly persecuted: Jesus. How interesting that the church has decided to play the role of Pilate...

DickTracey

So people actually pay money to have their kids educated at this school??

JMOP's picture
JMOP

He seems like a great guy. His understanding of the catholic faith is why he is graciously stepping down. If he can accept his own termination with understanding, than everyone else should be able to too.

coasterfan

I concur. As a recovering Catholic, and former music minister, it's interesting for me to note that the youth of the Catholic Church are far more enlightened than the adults. Being gay isn't something that can be learned, it's not something anyone chooses. What are they so worried about? It's obvious that Panetta was an outstanding role model.

Anyone who doesn't understand that should ask themselves this question: How old were you when you decided to be heterosexual? Their answer, of course, will be "I didn't decide. I've just always been heterosexual". EXACTLY. And guess what: it's the same way for the LGBT community.

grandmasgirl

I don't understand why people support the gay life style and think it is the way a person is "made". Pedophiles are "made" that way. Kleptomaniacs are "made" that way. People are "made" to be killers, or rapists, or any number of other things. That does not mean that you have to act on your feelings. Personally, there are many times I would like to knock people up alongside the head, but I don't act on it.

PirateBacker1975

Do you wake up every morning and "decide" that you're going to be heterosexual? I don't think so - it's just your in your biological makeup. It's the same way with homosexuals.

I also believe that pedophiles and the like are "made" that way - there's something in their wiring that causes them to have those urges - but those acts are illegal and hopefully the penalties of breaking the law are a deterrent. There is nothing illegal about living as a homosexual.

Peninsula Pundit

+1
To grandma's girl.

Pirate-
So because man has decided certain acts are legal or illegal, that is what determines things?
Well, at least we know who God is in your book, 1975: Man.
No reason to go to church in that case. Just bow down in front of the mirror and worship away.

cody6202000

Some of us are atheists/humanists, and feel that that sort of pretentiousness is a bit off-putting. We don't *need* your approval of things...

PirateBacker1975

That's right, no reason to go to church for me. Agnostic here (agnostics believe that the existence of a god or gods cannot be proven or known).

coasterfan

Grandmasgirl: Are you actually lumping gays with pedophiles, kleptomaniacs and rapists? Quick, there's a bus leaving today for the Dark Ages. Get on it and please don't come back.

JudgeMeNot

Are you the bus driver?

asecretlife

You are a complete imbecile for making this statement. You cannot compare Pedophiles, kleptos, killers, or rapists to gay people. So what you are saying is gay people are criminals too? Seriously? If you knock someone upside the head you are assaulting them. Acting on a feeling of hurting someone is wrong. Acting on the feeling of love for someone of the same sex is not. And if you feel it is then just mind your own business. It is quite simple.

grandmasgirl

SO....both you and Coasterfan don't agree with my way of thinking. That makes you no better than me. I have my opinions and you have yours. I am just stating that if you think gays cannot help the way they are made, then how can you think that anyone else can help the way they are made. I am saying that just because you are "made" a certain way, doesn't mean you have to act on it. If no one had ever made any laws then nothing would be illegal. I think the way I do, and you can think the way you do. Maybe YOU should stop commenting on here if you want to argue someone else's right to do so. BTW, I do respect your right to comment. Please respect mine.

John Harville

Grandmasgirl...does stupid hurt.
On what basis do you argue that Pedophiles, Kleptomanaics, killers, rapists are "made that way"?
UNLESS you claiming the 'making' responsibility on parents, priests, teachers, abusers, for those people being 'made'.
HOW DARE YOU class sexuality (and at one time left-handedness) with those other crimes you mention?
From your personal experience... is bigotry 'made'?

Contango

Re: "As a recovering Catholic, and former music minister,"

And you left the church why?

And yes, homosexuality can be a learned behavior and a choice, e.g. prison systems.

coasterfan

My new wife is an atheist, but didn't push her non-belief on me. Actually, she often attended church with me for more than a year after we met. Then, in early 2008, I read an article in "Psychology Today" about priests who didn't believe in God, yet who continued to preach.

Intrigued, I read "The God Delusion" by Richard Dawkins, and "Losing Faith in Faith" by Dan Barker (a former minister and well-known church musician who is now an atheist). By the time I finished the 2nd book, I realized that I didn't believe in God, Santa or the Easter Bunny. I opposed the church's stance on most social issues, so it was easy to cut ties with what I suddenly realized was a Neanderthal, misogynistic organization.

None of the current scientific/social research finds that homosexuality is a "choice" or "learned behavior". Those are old assumptions that have gradually fallen away over the past 30 years, which explains the large rise in acceptance of gay marriage over the same period.

Contango

Re: "I opposed the church's stance on most social issues, so it was easy to cut ties with what I suddenly realized was a Neanderthal, misogynistic organization."

So IOW, any opinions regarding ANY RCC teachings can be largely discounted to the point of being worthless due to your extreme prejudice.

Enjoy your centrally planned & controlled atheistic State-based world with which I'm sure you'll always agree. :)

You're naively merely just substituting one 'evil' for another.

Darwin's choice

....And then I joined the dark side, and have been preaching democrat crap since.

Obama/fail

IslandDweller

Contango, you don't have any gay friends, do you. Do some of your own research. Go to a local gay establishment and talk to the gay patrons and I'll guarantee you that 100% of them will tell you that being gay is not a learned behavior or choice. It's just what they are.

Trying to use the prison system to make your point is absolutely absurd. Homosexual prison sex is a form of dominance and pressure (except, of course, those prisoners that are actually gay).

Babo

So have you been in prison? People who have been there tell me that the homosexual lifestyle (gay for the stay) is entered into usually quite willingly as a means to satisfy their sexual needs, i.e. lust.

Prisoners usually lack self control and have poor impulse control and do not live for higher values such as love and thinking of others before themselves. It's about satisfying self and they use each other to that end. This is why homosexuality is so destructive.

IslandDweller

No, I have never been in prison. I did have to write a dissertation on homosexuality in contemporary society in order to get my sociology degree. My beliefs are based on a large number of scientific and behavioral psychology studies.

I understand that science is sometimes hard for conservatives to comprehend.

"This is why homosexuality is so destructive." - Simply not true and the facts don't back up your case. Studies show that heterosexual men are much more likely to be pedophiles (over 80%, in fact), children raised in families with two gay parents have a slightly higher grade point average than those that are raised with straight couples and homosexual couples stay together at a higher rate than straight couples.

There's really no reason for me to go on. You have your backward opinion and nothing I say is going to change it. I will leave with this, though: there is a good chance that one of your close relatives that you love and trust is gay but hasn't told you because of your bigotry.

Babo

A dissertation...So you have a PhD in a sociology, one of the easiest and least challenging academic areas where studies are easily manipulated to arrive at the desired result? What about the incidence of mental illness in homosexuals compared to heterosexuals?

It may surprise you to know the extent of my education and familiarity with scientific methods. I do know that real scientists do not assume facts and certainly do not disparage people for their opinions based on personal interviews and observations.

A friend or relative would not tell me they were homosexual? That's ridiculous as homosexual men and women sought my counsel.

John Harville

"...lack self controll and have poor impulse control and do not live for higher values...."
Sound a lot like the description of persons - especially women - who 'want' or 'ask' to be raped.
And before you ask, I've never been to prison. but I've worked in ministry with persons who are/have been in prison. Sex in prison by those who are not homosexual generally is an act of survival. Rape is one of the most common - and most unprosecuted - crimes in prison. Rape also can be defined as willful submission to avoid abuse.
I ask again, does 'stupid' hurt?

Oh, and I hope you are not Catholic because your post probably has put one more punch in your ticket to Hell.

MarbleheadNative

No kidding, at least there are some intelligent people commenting, who have an education on genetics and not, knots on their knuckles and head from being abused by the ruler and book!

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/DSM...

John Harville

He has gay friends. he just doesn't know it.

John Harville

The homosexual ACT can be a 'learned behavior and a choice', e.g. the military and ships on long deployments.

Now... try to set aside the 'acts' and consider the love between two human beings.

If you can get your mind off the penile tissue and remember it's probably quite alright with you if a woman so engages with a man, then maybe you can elevate your vision beyond the crotch.

Babo

Do you really feel homosexual sex (between men) is an expression of love? To me it is an act that repudiates the feminine and indicates a deep seated contempt for women and the process of life creation.

sugar

Dramatic...lol

John Harville

I repeat... get your mind off the act and concentrate on the love.

That said, however, does putting said tumescence in oral orifice of a woman thus illuminate the feminine and not reveal a deep-seated contempt for women and the process of life creation?

And thus you believe - as does the Church - procreation is the PRIMARY/ONLY allowable purpose for sexual relations? Even JESUS himself didn't believe that.

Katelih-Trailer...

coasterfan...recovering Catholic??

SamAdams

"Recovering Catholic" isn't an unfair description. You have no idea the hangover that kind of thing leaves with you even AFTER you've decided something else is better for you!

(ADDED NOTE: In fairness, I suspect there's such a thing as a "recovering Jew," a "recovering Baptist," etc. But ALSO in fairness, most religions aren't quite as hot and heavy on the indoctrination of children and the suppression of grown-ups as is the Catholic Church! That's not universally a bad thing, mind you, but it IS a tough thing to wrap your mind around should you decide to leave!)

Bada Bing

This is wrong in so many ways. I am a proud member of SMCC and what this man has done for the school and the kids is a great thing,maybe if we all would quit trying to judge each other the world would be a better place. Let God judge,not us!!!

Raoul Duke

What if it's God that actually doesn't judge us, because with unconditional love comes NO NEED for judgment, therefore NO NEED for forgiveness.
Nah...we're all going to Hell.

The General

Moderators have removed this comment because it contained Profane, obscene, sexual or derogatory language.

Raoul Duke

You must have me confused with one of your old cell mates.

The General

Hello

The General

C'mon Jim can't you be a little more creative than hashing the ol' jail routine...dang?

God Of Thunder

I am ashamed to say that this is where I graduated from. It is sad to think that the catholic religion is still stuck in ancient beliefs, and this is why I no longer consider myself part of this downgrade to human nature.

It's pathetic to preach that god loves everyone but it's a mortal sin to love someone of the same sex or use birth control. Humans are humans, no matter who they love.

gyrocartfluffikins

Perhaps coincidentally, many of us are also ashamed to say you graduated from SMCC.

cody6202000

How Christian of you, fluff...

/snark

God Of Thunder

Get over yourself.. I guess I'm ashamed to have past ties with those of you who condemn people for being normal human beings, great role models, but enjoy a lifestyle that you may not agree with... How godly of you...

The General

How about trying NOT being ashamed of an institution which has a DIFFERENT OPINION then YOU

gyrocartfluffikins

Perhaps you could show me where they were condemned? I believe he was relieved of his duties because he has beliefs that lie outside of the TEACHINGS of the Church and thus the school he TEACHES at. I'm happy to help here if you need further clarification between dismissal and condemnation of lifestyle.

God Of Thunder

Well, you bunch of ostriches with your heads in the sand... Why don't you find out how the church feels about you, if you go against one of their beliefs. They more or less condemn you to hell, unless you go to their 'confession' and go to church every week to give them money, to pay off the families of kids that priests abused. But of course they don't 'relieve' the priests of their duties, do they???? Nope, ship them off else where and sweep it under the rug.

sugar

GoT is right, there have been many discrimination's from the loving community of SCCS, ask the long time pre-school director Mrs. Dwight who was kicked to the curb for no other reason than ???? no one ever offered a satisfactory explanation for that, how about Judy Monaghan, who too got the hehttp://www.sanduskyregister.com/... ho, no good explanation there either. I could list even more egregious insults.Do not list "social justice" in your mission statement if you're not prepared to carry it out!

Katelih-Trailer...

sugar..I was curious and clicked on the link you provided. It doesn't "exist" anymore..Hmmm

Dcfred20036

I was shocked to read that a few years back, an assistant football coach was fired after he was arrested by the Huron police for having sex with a student. The years go by, things never change, just different actors perpetuating the age-old cycle of abuse. Silence is the big enabler. Many of my classmates lost their faith and remember high school with pain. I really hope that Pope Francis can turn the church's sick soul inside out!

John Harville

What does a coach having sex with a student have to do with the instant story/discussion?

coasterfan

The take away from this story is that SMCC practices discrimination. There are other verses in the Bible that we no longer follow because we know they are untrue, written by Bronze Age people who had literally no understanding of the way the world works.

The Bible say we cannot eat meat with blood still in it (Leviticus 19:26), women cannot wear pants (Deuteronomy 22:5-9), cannot have tattoos (Leviticus 19:28) and that anyone who commits adultery or curses their parents should be put to death (Leviticus 20:9-10) and that rebellious sons and non-virgin brides should be stoned to death (Deuteronomy 21:18 and 22:20).

We ignore those verses for obvious reasons, the same reasons we should now ignore anti-homosexual verses. Because we now KNOW BETTER.

mikesee

Bye bye.

The Answer Person

Melody Curtis should hang her head in shame. Obviously she has not been listening to what the new pope has been saying. Maybe she should be next to depart?
IMHO, I cannot understand why ANY self-respecting LGBT person would want to attend a church, sing in the St. Mary's Church choir or send their children to a school where people are despised and not wanted...makes no sense.

gyrocartfluffikins

Dang, there goes the gigantic LGBT population at St. Mary's.

John Harville

MELODY CURTIS should study her Catholic Church history. Two decades ago she would not have BEEN a principal in a Catholic school... unless she was a nun.
Four decades ago a woman would not have been allowed on the Altar - except on Saturday morning to clean.
Girls have been allowed to be servers for only the last 30 years.
Catholics once committed venial sin by touching the Host with anything but the tongue.
Congregational singing only has been around about 45 years...the English Mass less than that.
Many of us remember when the Altar was on the back wall and the priest celebrated Mass with his back to the congregation...and the Altar railing was LOCKED?
And remember women pinning tissues and doiles to their hair because it was a sin to have female heads uncovered?
Yes Ms Melody should be very aware of how Church policy changes - and the days when MRS. Curtis NEVER would even have been allowed to teach in a Catholic school.

sugar

Yes, I so remember!

the unsilent majority's picture
the unsilent ma...

I believe in the right to get married for gay couples. I also believe that the church has a right to terminate anyone who they think doesnt live up to their moral standards. Im sure mr panetta knew what would happen once he announced his engagement. He chose love and family over his career. I applaud him for that. Flip it around and pretend you worked for a company who historically was opposed to heterosexual behavior and one day you suddenly said oh by the way im into women. Wouldnt you expect to be sent packing?

Pterocarya frax...

I basically agree with you that the church has a right to terminate those that do not "live up to their moral standards". They also have a right to keep watching members (tithers) leave to the point they no longer have a church.

Attitudes change, and unless the church changes (evolves), they will go extinct. People used to think slavery was ok. Who does now? People used to think women shouldn't vote. Who does now?...except for a few Republicans.

People used to think gay marriage was not okay. That attitude is quickly changing, and this decision to fire a great young teacher probably alienated many more young Catholic recruits.

As the number of Catholics continues to decline in many parts of the world, it sure appears that the theory of evolution applies to the Catholic Church (survival of the fittest).

coasterfan

Agree 100% with Pterocarya.

Lakerielife

No...I think that logic is off. There is no such thing as a company who is opposed to heterosexual relationships. And no! I don't think people should have to worry about losing there jobs because of their relationships. The bible is a complicated and intricate text. How can the church pick and choose what they will act on based only on the political battle of the time? There is also a section that speaks about stoning a disobeying child.

John Harville

you mean the Catholic Church... where dating habits and desires of ANY employee was grounds for dismissal?

And then there's the female teacher at Bellevue ICS whose husband was filmed poking the hole in the middle of the picnic table on his back porch in view of an elementary school, arrested, convicted, sent to prison, and when released moved into the same house with his wife and chldren and was present when schoolchildren came to the house to play. He had been quite active in the school as a volunteer. Even after she brought him back home, she continued to teach because she was close friends with the principal (who chose to assign HER grandson to the other classroom).

Babo

Yes he was an employee of this newspaper and I believed he was terminated or forced to resign by the Sandusky Newspaper for violating a morals clause! I also believe the school was 500 yards away and the children in doors at the time.

The Church welcomes him because he has probably repented. Finally are you suggesting the Church should punish his wife and family for the sin of their husband and father?

sugar

This man was depraved, but he repented. Brian hasn.,t anything to repent for. What a twisted analogy babo

Babo

True repentance means he recognizes the error of his conduct and intends not to continue to commit the sin. Mr. Panetta on the other hand has made it very public that he will engage in homosexual conduct, a sin in the Roman Catholic Church.

The Answer Person

How ironic to be fired at Christmas...the time of Jesus's birth and a time of great joy for the Christian world...

Mr. Panetta, this is an opportunity for you to get out of here and go someplace where you will be properly compensated for your outstanding abilities and talents. If you stayed there, you would be trapped in this low-paying position forever. While this inexcusable treatment is at the moment personally demeaning and a hurtful low point for you, this will actually turn out to be a good thing for your career.

JMOP's picture
JMOP

How ironic he was fired after he got engaged.
Sorry, but DUH!

Peninsula Pundit

Yes, he can go to work in the public school system where answer person and many others who support this fellow here will then characterize him as a lazy teacher with a bad union who is paid too much and gets too much pension, living off the taxpayer.
Best of Luck!

PirateBacker1975

Best of luck to you, Brian. You are truly a class act. Both my daughter and I feel blessed to call you a friend.

8ballinthesidepocket

This could get interesting! Wonder what his employment contract said with regard to following the Catholic moral code? Unfortunately, religions of all denominatios and faiths are resposible for more wars and killings than anything else. And a pure case of the pot calling the kettle black! Good luck SMCC i see a big lawsuit in the making!!

2grandkids

No lawsuit, he signs a contract and this is included in that contract.

John Harville

You assume the contract itself is legal. Probably won't stand scrutiny.

Babo

So where are all the homosexual lawyers willing to take his case for free?

sugar

How do you know he had had no offers, you obviously have the internet, AP now has the story, hmmmmmm

The Bizness

This is why I dont go to church, I really hope Pope Francis changes the way things are done.

gyrocartfluffikins

Well, this and the fact that you're too lazy to get out of bed.

The Bizness

Not at all, I get up bright and early to workout

joanneberardi

I just read a post that said not going to church because of hypocrites is like not going to the gym because of out of shape people. Makes one think!!

Peninsula Pundit

+1 joanne and gyro.

The Bizness

It does? I never mentioned anything about hypocrisy, I don't go because I do not agree with these sorts of actions.

gyrocartfluffikins

Well this and the fact that you're too lazy to get out of bed.

The Bizness

yeah, I am lazy because I get up early and work out. You make tons of sense.

JMOP's picture
JMOP

@the Bizness

Pope Francis can't change what's written in the bible. That's why he is The pope.

For the people that say times have changed, The Lord and his word stand the test of time. No amount of time can take away the truth.

The Bizness

What about that treat thy neighbor section? Btw most parts the bible that people quote from the bible referring to this subject are often taken out of context according to scholars.

timary

Wow what a class act this young man is. Hopefully he will find a school system who welcomes him for who he is and what he can offer them.

If all staff at SMCC were to be judged by how they live as compared to the teachings of the church I believe there would be quite a few job openings at good old SMCC.

2grandkids

Agree!!

Northstar

AGREE!!!!

Raoul Duke

Who are all of you people and what have you done with the Sandusky Register readers?

God Of Thunder

????????????????????

Pterocarya frax...

Now that is hardcore funny!

cody6202000

They're starting to show up now...they don't usually stay up as late as when this article was posted :)

The General

If they were up your @$$ you'd know jimmy...show me the love sweet cakes.

Smcc Alum

Evening everyone,

as I read some of these comments I really do not find it surprising that many of you, including alums are very upset. Mr. Panetta built our music program up from nothing, and sadly is being forced to leave at the peak of his success.

To clear a few things up..

1. St. Mary's was forced to let him go. In his contract he was well aware that if he were to pursue an engagement in same sex marriage he would be let go. When he told Mrs. Curtis about his engagement, she had no choice. She was only doing her job. It was not her decision to fire Mr. Panetta, it was the Toledo Diocese. It is simply not right to blame Mrs. Curtis for letting him go. She did not do a thing wrong, and it is a shame to see what some people are saying of her.

2. I do not know ONE person, whether it be faculty or student, who did not accept or welcome Mr. Panetta. All of the ignorant comments above claiming that SMCC despises or does not want Mr. Panetta are outright ridiculous. We all loved Mr. Panetta regardless of his life choices. That is what the Catholic faith calls us to do. Love your brothers and sisters.

Finally, It is unfair to blame the school and Mrs. Curtis. So many of you are so quick to jump on my school for things you disagree with. You must understand, this is not SMCC's fault. And most importantly, my school does not hate homosexuals.

sandman312

So you think it was a "life choice" and not who he was...?

Yes you are right, the catholic church teaches love your brothers and sisters. You left out the part about not treating them with dignity...

Smcc Alum

I understand how you may have thought I was referring to homosexuality. I was referring to the choice of accepting the engagement. Also, this is a really touchy subject and I don't feel like getting into an argument on a message board under my school's name about "how someone becomes homosexual". I have no authority to answer that question.

Peninsula Pundit

You're a smart kid.

Smcc Alum

Thanks

Dcfred20036

Hey SMCC student, maybe you should be running the school. With this terrible incident, the reputation of the school is ruined. Come here to Washington and try to get a job in public service and a simple google search will show that you attended a school that promoted bigotry and discrimination. This story is going viral and there is no way to stop it. Be on the right side of history. Drinking from separate fountains sounds ridiculous now, don't you think? I wish you luck. But do not stew in hate and intolerance: there is a world beyond Sandusky.

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