Catholic Church has school's back on firing

Sandusky Central Catholic School's forced resignation gains national attention, outraged alumnus creates blog to follow story.
Alissa Widman Neese
Jan 13, 2014

The Catholic Church broke tradition Monday, releasing an official statement in support of a band and choir director's recent departure from Sandusky Central Catholic School.

Meanwhile, a group of outraged alumni are assembling on a blog and social media, expressing support and aiming to springboard the story to national media outlets.

Brian Panetta, who was in his fifth year of employment with Sandusky Central Catholic School, was forced to resign this past week after announcing plans to pursue a gay marriage next year.

He initially received an unsigned letter of termination indicating he was fired, but school officials and representatives from the Catholic Diocese of Toledo, which oversees the school, later agreed he could resign.

Click here for all Register coverage of this story.

Panetta, who identifies as Catholic, plans to marry his fiancé in July 2015.

A newly created blog, hirebrianback.blogspot.com, is advocating for Panetta's rehire. It also links to a change.org petition, which netted more than 200 signatures and supportive comments in its first day.

"Everyone loved him, even people who aren't in favor of gay marriage, because they loved him as a person and a teacher," said alumnus Fred Staffeld, who is managing the new blog from Washington D.C. "We're outraged by the hypocrisy. Instead of firing others who are breaking rules, they only fired somebody who was just upfront and honest about who he is."

Staffeld graduated from St. Mary Central Catholic High School in 1982, during what he calls the "glory days" of band, when John Kustec, now a Perkins Schools employee, was his director.

Panetta reminded Staffeld of a young Kustec, because he ignited passion in his students and more than doubled the once dwindling band's size.

When Staffeld received mixed messages about who was responsible for Panetta's abrupt resignation, and later learned the truth, he felt inspired to take action, he said.

"I've received some angry messages about creating a circus of this," Staffeld said. "If this school didn't want a circus, it shouldn't have discriminated in 2014. It's going to create a firestorm."

The story has since picked up national attention, most recently being featured on Advocate.com and LGBTQ Nation, two of the world's largest websites for gay rights news.

Panetta issued a public statement about the matter Friday, which permitted the Catholic Diocese of Toledo to respond today, according to its statement. The diocese typically doesn't comment on personnel matters, in order to protect individuals, it said.

"In light of the Church's clear teaching on sacred marriage and the fact that Mr. Panetta himself has publicly indicated his marriage plans are contrary to Church teachings and are the issue at the heart of this matter, the leadership of Sandusky Central Catholic School properly determined that his employment could not continue," the diocese stated. 

"When Sandusky Central Catholic School informed the diocese of the situation, the diocese fully concurred it was the correct decision and in keeping with the terms of his teacher-minister contract," it concluded.

Click here to read the full statement.

The statement offers little, if any, new insight, as the diocese's spokeswoman offered a brief comment this past week, in which she also stated Panetta's forced resignation was a "local decision," and the diocese only offered consultation.

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

After he became engaged on Christmas Day, Panetta told school principal Melody Curtis about his wedding plans, anticipating the pair would agree an end-of-the-year resignation would be the most appropriate way to ensure no conflicts resulted. He received his letter of termination later that night.

His five-year relationship with his now-fiancé, Nathan David, was not a secret, as David often attended school events and met several students and their families, Panetta said.

Panetta has no plans to take any legal action against Sandusky Central Catholic School.

He cares deeply for the school, its faculty and its students, and only wants to perpetuate the truth about why he can no longer teach them, he said.

He is currently a graduate student at Bowling Green State University. He plans to graduate in May and seek employment elsewhere, possibly near his hometown in North Carolina, or David's hometown in Illinois.

Sandusky Central Catholic School issued a news release this past week about the matter, simply stating Panetta had resigned. It also provided a link to Panetta's statement, in which he called himself a "proud and gay Catholic."

 

Other Catholic school firings circulate in national media

Sandusky Central Catholic School's forced resignation of its gay band and choir director addresses a hot-button issue constantly circulating in national media.

On Friday, the same day Panetta issued a statement about his resignation, Michael Griffin, a gay teacher at a Catholic school in Pennsylvania, was fired after filing for a marriage license with his partner. 

The pair had a civil union and the teacher wore a ring, and as with Panetta, school administrators knew he was gay. 

Their relationship didn't become a problem until Griffin emailed school administrators about his marriage license, which they interpreted as a public statement.

Earlier this month, Mark Zmuda, a gay vice principal in Washington, was also fired for marrying his partner. School officials suggested Zmuda get a divorce to keep his job, but he rejected the idea, he said.

Students have rallied in support of Zmuda and actively protested his departure, staging a sit-in and then walking out in solidarity, effectively shutting down their school. They have also rallied a social media campaign and crafted an online petition with now more than 32,000 signatures.

The most prominent firing case in Ohio involved a Catholic school in Columbus, whose officials fired lesbian teacher Carla Hale for listing her female partner in her mother's obituary in The Columbus Dispatch this past year.

Comments

Nemesis

So, you're saying that the First Amendment right to petition the government for redress of grievances does not apply to people who have religious convictions?

John Harville

"...peaceably to assemble and petition...."
No one I can find is saying anything about this.

Nemesis

Truth or dare is - scroll up and follow the context.

Dcfred20036

Attention Panther band members: this is a letter meant for you, which was received via the Hire Brian Back blog:

Hi. I'm a recent graduate of a Seattle-area Catholic high school, and I wanted to let you know that there are a ton of us who support you. Just before Christmas break, the vice principal at one of the other Catholic high school in our Archdiocese was fired when it was found out that he had married his same-sex partner. Living up to Seattle's reputation for liberalism, the student sit-in at Eastside Catholic soon spread to other schools, and now there is a whole movement of young people who refuse to let this go. I only heard about what happened with you guys on tumblr and I don't think it's been widely reported, so not many people over hear have heard, but I strongly urge the Sandusky Central students to visit the KeepMrZ2013 page on Facebook or the blog on tumblr to get in contact with a huge group of people who stand with them and want to change the world. I don't know if this is the most effective way to get the word out to you guys, but I couldn't find any way that I might contact the student body or a group opposed to Mr. Panetta losing his job. I promise that you will find overwhelming support from your fellow Catholic school kids out here in Washington state if you just say hi on the movement's Facebook page. We're behind you 100%.

Dcfred20036

Alert: Story being reported in Europe- this has now gone global!

sugar

Global???? wow

John Harville

It is time for Melody Curtis to resign and apologize to the SCCS community - and especially to the students who unwillingly have been thrown into the midst of global inspection.

If he hasn't already, Joel Miller (Perkins 2001) should marry quickly within the church to remove any doubt or wonder

Dcfred20036

I'm not sure how the St Mary school board operates these days, but they better start providing vigorous oversight of the school's administration. Going forward, the problem St. Mary is going to have is that in bandgate they kept referring to the contractual violation that cost Mr. Panetta his job, fine. And if other employees are in violation of some clause of the contract too, then the school needs to be consistent and fire those people too. Because if they don't, then is not only hypocritical, but also discriminatory. Recently, the Archdiocese of Cincinnati lost a case in Federal court. The school claimed the contractual thing, but the jury did not buy it. Lack consistency can be a problem.

DickTracey

John, are you saying that the new band director hired by St. Mary's has a baby momma, not a wife?

John Harville

I didn't SAY anything. I advised he should "live the Catholic lifestyle" before people start doubting his chastity.

Still investigating how a person can hold both PUBLIC and CATHOLIC school contracts to do the same work.

Also find it fascinating he was so 'available' especially since Melody had changed her profile to list herself as Music Director at SCCS.

Nemesis

Is there a reason to doubt his chastity? If so, then state it openly - your endless innuendo is tiresome.

"Still investigating how a person can hold both PUBLIC and CATHOLIC school contracts to do the same work."

The same way a painter can accept a contract to pain the classroom walls at SCCS and another to paint the walls in City Hall - are you TRYING to be obtuse?

John Harville

DIOCESAN ADMINISTRATOR: “the role of the Administrator is to essentially maintain the operations of the diocese—to keep the status quo—and provide for the needs of the faithful until the next bishop is named by the Holy Father.” -DIOCESAN WEBSITE

The status quo does NOT allow for terminating contracts without suspension and hearing... check Diocesan rules. I have contacted the Diocese about the actions of Melody Curtis. I will ask that they investigate her actions in light of Diocesan policies on employment and termination. I already have raised questions about the legality of the contract language with regard to federal laws.
.... and I used my legal name in the process.

sanduskymom

John - The school has moved past this and Brian understands why this happened. Why can't you do the same? If the Catholic faith doesn't agree with your personal beliefs, there are many other faiths to choose from. Let it go!

Dcfred20036

Sanduskymom, john just feels strongly about it. He will move on when he is ready to. Hey, everyone gets their say- what a wonderful thing!

John Harville

This issue is so much larger than the school - which BTW has not moved on.

This is about FREEDOM OF SPEECH. It's about people speaking for the Church who have no idea for what the Church stands - you leading the pack.

It's about Sandusky parish priests and deacons who have not been heard at all.

The contract is illegal, it forces employees to give up First Amendment rights, and it illegally profiles individuals AND forces people to live dishonestly. The contract doesn't say one cannot participate in surrogacy, in-vitro, live in adultery, support abortion - just not be PUBLIC about it.

In other words, be dishonest.

And where do you and Melody and others get the right or knowledge to proclaim the Brian is unchaste? Do you have personal knowledge that Brian and his fiancé have consummated their relationship? Did Melody DARE to invade his privacy and ask that question?

I think I've probably been Catholic - religion, maam, it's not faith - longer than you have been alive. I've been Catholic since the days of the Pater Noster and the Ave Maria. I have watched - and participated in - the Church changing its beliefs.

This too, will change. It's just time to push the issue.

Nemesis

"This is about FREEDOM OF SPEECH."

No, it's not. No government body is restricting anyone's speech here. A private organization has set standards for participation in its activities, as all such organizations are entitled to do. I recommend you inform yourself on what does and does not constitute a violation of 1st Amendment rights. A prominent defense attorney and former federal prosecutor named Ken White has done an excellent job of explaining the difference between the government and private entities in this respect at his blog popehat.com (NO relationship to Catholism in any way, merely a name he and his co-bloggers found catchy.) In light of your opposition to basic Constitutional liberty in this case, I'd be interested in your perpective on it, since liberty is the central theme of the entire site.

"It's about people speaking for the Church who have no idea for what the Church stands"

Well, since the church has openly published for what it stands (and, although I contend with you here, I must commend your avoidance of using a preposition without an object) and you're contending against that, one has to wonder if you're projecting. Why don't you tell us, clearly and concisely, for what the Church stands?

"The contract is illegal, it forces employees to give up First Amendment rights"

FORCES? Did he sign it at gunpoint? There is no force here. He willingly, and by his own admission, knowingly signed it.

"The contract doesn't say one cannot participate in surrogacy, in-vitro, live in adultery, support abortion - just not be PUBLIC about it. In other words, be dishonest."

You mean, like the contract most employees of federal intelligence services sign? Why don't you head on down to Langley and let them know their contracts are illegal?

"And where do you and Melody and others get the right or knowledge to proclaim the Brian is unchaste? "

His announcement of his engagement is his statement of his intent not only to be unchaste, but to live a life of ongoing commitment to unchastity.

"Do you have personal knowledge that Brian and his fiancé have consummated their relationship?"

Do you have knowledge of any intent on his part to marry and then perpetually refrain from consummating it?

Finally, given that your beliefs are clearly at odds with the Catholic Church, you REALLY ought to just go find a church with which you can agree and join it. The Episcopaleans, with whom you seem in much better alignment, would be very happy to have you, seeing as they have lost over 10% of their membership since making exactly the doctinal changes you advocate.

Dcfred20036

The Pope said, "I prefer a church which is bruised, hurting and dirty because it has been out on the streets, rather than a Church which is unhealthy from being confined and from clinging to its own security," -I think he would be very happy with this vigorous discussion, people. He is calling on the faithful to save the Church from itself. And in a small way, this is part of the process. One school, one diocese at a time!

John Harville

AMEN.
And the change is not coming - it's upon us - as surely as we can take the Host in hand and sit on all sides of the altar and not recognize a nun by her habit and have women ministering.

Coming soon to a Church near you; WOMEN PRIESTS.

And you'd be surprised how many gay men have been married in full mass before a priest (possibly also gay) in a Catholic Church and have fathered children and are doing an excellent job - with their knowledgable wives - rearing those children. Isn't it sad the Church makes them lie.

sanduskymom

The church does not MAKE them lie. They CHOOSE to lie.

John Harville

WRONG. AGAIN. Does it hurt there in Panther Dynasty?

There presently are teachers on the staff who are living in violation of the contract...adultery, cohabitation, surrogacy - even in-vitro parenthood.

The persons who hired some of them even know of their status... but they are FOM (Friends of Melody).

Keep dancing as fast as you can.

Nemesis

If there really are so many other similar violations being ignored, and the inconsistency is what bothers you, don't you think it would be more productive to pursue rectification of those cases where the policy is not being followed than harping on the one case where it is?

sugar

Why drag other poor souls into the mix? The mistake SCCS made was that they terminated a beloved instructor, forgot to tell the Pep Band not to come to the game on Sat Jan 4 hence allowing the word to go viral. They have made many administrative mistakes, now it is coming back to haunt them.

Nemesis

I'm talking to Harville, who has continually cited these supposed exceptions and complained of inconsistency. If you have no problem with the inconsistency, then my comment doesn't apply to you.

How would you have had them handle it? As a big secret in the dark of night? The Church is pretty candid about its doctrines.

sugar

Frankly at this point I have no idea what you are trying to say, and I don't believe you do either.

sanduskymom

Hmmm....again, just not true! I HEARD the pep band play on January 4th. They sounded great - and there was never a plan for them not to play. There was no "mistake" in forgetting to tell them to come to the game. If you or your grandkids aren't happy....no one is forcing you to stay part of the school. It's time to move on, this debate is petty and boring!

sugar

Sandusky mom if you would have read any article or listened to any of the interviews you would be aware that the Pep Band was supposed to be cancelled, they had no band director. I am sure that they sounded wonderful. These posts are done in anonymity for a reason, because of threatening people like you. I feel sorry for the person you believe I am because in all your Christian like behavior I am sure you have some evil retribution planned. Go to confession you need it.

sugar

You do know no one is forcing you to come here and read the petty boring debate. Honestly, sigh

sanduskymom

Sugar, Sugar, Sugar....I HAVE listened to the interviews and read the articles. Have you? BRIAN wanted it cancelled after his initial termination - NOT THE SCHOOL!!! They had a student who served as a director during the football season step in and lead that night. All was well. There was NEVER an intention to cancel. Please, before you continue blogging, make sure you have your facts verified and not just base your comments on rumor or conjecture. You've already blogged plenty that is just NOT true! Furthermore, I am not threatening you. You send your grandkids to a CATHOLIC school. Other people very generously sacrifice and contribute so that children who want a CATHOLIC education can get one. I'm merely pointing out that if you are so unhappy with the leadership's expectation that educators model a Catholic lifestyle, then there are many other choices in education for your kids that may be a better fit. No one is forcing you to stay, just like no one forced Brian to sign a contract. It's that simple!

sugar

Blogging? This isn't a blog and I don't have a blog, this forum is here to allow people to express their opinions. I happen to like debating, it's a pastime. Now I certainly would never suggest I knew who you were, nor do I care, your insinuations and poorly veiled threats are NOT modeling the Catholic behavior that you are swearing to and defending. More shame as you are not representing YOUR school or faith with Christian like behavior. Now be gone.

sanduskymom

Keeping in mind this issue is much bigger than SCCS.....I'll ask this as simply as I can. Why would you pay to send your grandchildren to a CATHOLIC school if you so strongly disagree with the church's expectations of the educators / staff? You have many other fine educational choices, with terrific band instructors, that are free - just not Catholic!

sugar

Oops my reply went to the end, please read. And find something else to do to assuage your anger, dear. Your debate skills are not so good, when you attack or make it personal you lose the argument.

Dcfred20036

Lets hope, for the sake of consistency, the school punishes all "sins" equally. I have a feeling Ms. Curtis will be receiving tips regarding employees who are in violation of the so-called contract. It seems that the "Catholic lifestyle" is a very relative term.

Dcfred20036

The story is on USAtoday online- has footage of the band, choir. National.

John Harville

And it's beautiful!
What an amazing man and what amazing things he accomplished with the choirs and band.

Nemesis

This is an interesting discussion, in that so few have actually considered the nature of what they're discussing.

What's really going on here? A PRIVATE organization, with which no one is forced to associate, has a foundational belief that certain forms of sexual expression are not morally acceptable. To that end, they require those who teach in their institutions set an example consistent with that belief. They don't take action on this policy until confronted with glaring and flagrant evidence of violation.

Some rather vitriolic objections have been raised to various aspects of this story:

-There are those who are angry that this organization dares to hold such beliefs, especially in an era when popular culture believes otherwise. Perhaps these people would be more comfortable in a country where everyone is forced to agree in lockstep with the currently fashionable beliefs.

-There are those who are angry because these beliefs constrain sexual expression. ALL reasonable people believe that some sexual expression falls outside the bounds of morality, whether based on questions of consent, the age of the participants, the familial relationship of the participants, whether the participants are married (and whether to each other), whether love is involved, etc. Is no one allowed to draw this line at a different point than you?

-There are those who just hate religion, and most of those do so primarily because religion has rules that limit peoples' access to sexual gratification. Is that a golden calf in your pants or are you just feeling randy?

All in all, the level of logic displayed is pretty dismal. Look, if you don't like what they believe, then don't join, don't attend, and don't associate - it's a free country. But just as you are free not to associate with them for failing to live by your morality, they are free not to associate with him because of his divergence from their morality.

It's telling that so many people are expressing so much outrage on behalf of a man who isn't expressing it himself. Maybe you should all work on your own issues.

Look, I would expect an Orthodox Hebrew school to fire a teacher who drove a car on Saturday. I would expect a Mormon school to fire a teacher who drank alcohol. I would expect a Madrassa to fire a teacher who ate pork or drew pictures of Mohammed. I would also understand if any of these institutions chose to ignore some violations of these policies as long as the individuals involved were discreet enough to foster some ambiguity as to whether they were actually happening. All these activities currently enjoy more Constitutional protection and broad cultural acceptance than the conduct in question here. If you're not willing to adhere to a philosophy in your personal life, don't take a job from an organization for which that philosophy is its entire mission and reason for existence.

I'd also expect PETA to fire someone who went hunting on their day off, or the NAACP to fire someone who was found to be a member of the KKK. It's a little perverse to want a country where a man can divorce his wife for burning the toast but a minority rights organization can't fire a man for burning a cross. Just because you have the right to do something doesn't obligate others to approve of it, embrace it, or celebrate it.

As for those who say it was a double standard to employ him for 4 years and now fire him, you're being willfully obtuse. The standard regards CONDUCT, not orientation. They were accepting of who he was until he took steps that wiped out any semblance of plausible deniability about what he was, or soon intended to be DOING. Now, was it a little disingenuous to look the other way until he held it up in their face? Possibly, but that's a question the school's leadership have to ask themselves in the mirror, and not really our business. Part of this being a free country is that each individual or organization is free to set their own standards and grapple with their own imperfect efforts to fulfill it.

sugar

Dissertations and esoteric postulations are interesting Nemesis, but few are reality based. Your thoughts on the double standards came close, we now have a question of ethics. But whose ethical standard? It is not clear in the contract, and no contract is air tight ( lawyers do serve a purpose),nor it is not clear in consistency of execution at SCCS or elsewhere in the country. You also state "(it's) not really our business", I beg to differ. SCCS is not a private school it takes taxpayer monies for several programs and the school is supported by tuition payments and collection monies from all three parishes. Thereby entitling those who wish to, and being in this free country,to question the actions of others who make decisions that affect the community. No?

Nemesis

It's all based on the actual reality of the facts, as opposed to all the emotion flying here. Brian isn't disputing that his actions put him in violation of his contract.

The school does not receive taxpayer funds. Students receive services from personnel who are public school employees, and direct benefits such as lunches, to which THE STUDENTS are entitled.

It is the business of the parishoners, and they should be directing their objections to their leaders. However, the Catholic Church is organized as a heirarchical organization, not a democracy, in contrast to most evangelical churches.

People are, of course, free to question the actions of anyone, but that freedom does not make their questioning relevant, meaningful, or credible.

sugar

And once again who decides what is relevant, meaningful or credible? Obviously there are many differing views.

John Harville

...and all your "I would expects..." are valid UNLESS the institutions you mention accept federal/state/local funds or considerations.

NOTE: most Catholic schools in northwest Ohio accept outside subsidies to pay some staff - music, computer, PE, etc. And there is that whole transportation issue.

As for CONDUCT... becoming engaged to be wed 18 months hence breaches no conduct the contract prohibits - other teachers at SCCS through the decades have gotten engaged, worn rings, shared plans, been quite public. Probably several have quietly lived together before the wedding - even been sexually active.
How does becoming engaged define one's sexuality. A woman's sexuality is unknown, perhaps, until she becomes engaged.
I've seen no mention that Mr. Panetta was publicly or privately engaging in unchastity.
So I repeat my contention the school contract encourages persons to be dishonest - or as you put it, to allow the school to maintain "any semblance of plausible deniability"
The sounds so much like the Church's position on pedophile priests.

Nemesis

They don't accept subsidies - for programs mandated by federal law, such as the Individuals with Disabilities in Education Act, actual public school employees provide services directly to eligible students at the school.

Many private religious schools DO receive funds directly from the government, for example, a science or engineering department at a Catholic university may receive a research grant from DARPA, but that does not impact their rights as private religious entities. The NAACP gets LOTS of money from the government for various activities. Should they be forced to hire a guy who puts on a sheet and burns crosses on the weekend?

One more time, slowly for your benefit. BECOMING ENGAGED ANNOUNCES INTENT TO EMBARK UPON A LIFELONG COMMITMENT TO SEXUAL RELATIONS WITH ONE'S FIANCE. I welcome you to cite examples to the contrary.

sanduskymom

EXCELLENT post, Nemesis! +1!

John Harville

The fact you love it so much proves how weak it is and how lacking any foundation in fact.

This religious 'institution' in THIS area (it draws from more than Sandusky and Perkins) has chosen to take a stand without following the established legal protocol within its own guidelines (charge, hearing, appeal to local Board, appeal to Diocese, compensation pending appeal and final action).
However, does anyone know whether Mr. Panetta's contract was paid through the end of the year to get him to 'accept' his termination?
Fortunately, we who tithe, attend, contribute do not have to rely on Mr. Panetta to take action. We have free will within the Diocese to inquire, seek redress, force action.

Nemesis

Actually, as I'm sure Martin Luther would tell you if he were still able, longstanding Catholic precedent says your free will extends as far as the right to leave the Church and start or join another.

Truth or Dare

Yep, those with religious convictions, and that includes myself, have every right to petition our government for redress of grievances. What they do not have the right to do is infringe upon my life because of those religious convictions! That darn 1st. Amendment, a double edge sword is what it is. By the way, I also feel we have the right to address the leaders of our churches regarding their own hypocrisy! Should they choose to be hypocritical and "willingly obtuse", as I feel is what they've done to Mr. Panetta as well many others, that's when you find folks running, not walking away. I will not be "willingly obtuse" when it comes to the rights of others being trampled upon, nor will I support such hypocrisy through my tithing!

We can argue this till the cows come home, and regarding my faith in religion, I stopped being "willingly obtuse" some 38 yrs. ago.

Anyone catch the Toledo Blade's front page yesterday 1/17/2014? The front page article titled "DECADES-LONG SCANDAL. U.N. grills Vatican on sex abuses - Child-protection experts press for transparency" is rather thought provoking. All Catholics should read it! Just a few quotes from it;

"U.N. child-protection experts pushed Vatican delegates Thursday to reveal the scope of the decades-long sexual abuse of minors by Roman Catholic priests that Pope Francis has called "the shame of the Church.....Pope Francis told worshipers at Mass in the Vatican on Thursday that abuse scandals had cost us a lot of money, but paying damages is only right.....he said bishops, priests and lay people were responsible for this shame of the church".

I'm left wondering where all the "willingly obtuse" bishops, priests and lay Catholics were when the decades old story broke regarding the sexual abuse of thousands of children, the cover-up that continues, and just how much it's cost the "Church" in $$$$'s and cents (that's just the monetary cost, as there is a moral cost as well), bankrupting and closing many houses of worship. Left wondering where the Diocese stands on this, what part they may have played and just exactly what effect they think the abuse may have had not only on the children, whether living, or dead, but also those who cling to their religion so tightly, who worship and pray within the walls of The Church, who continue to remain "willfully obtuse"?!

We are ALL God's children, and through our faith a member of GOD'S CHURCH. It may do the Church (any church) well to not continue to ignore what Scripture says regarding the harming of children, or adults for that matter, and I have a feeling many Catholics that feel as I do are finding Pope Francis to be "a breath of fresh air"!

Nemesis

Regarding "running, not walking away"

Every denomination that has embraced the change Mr. Panetta's supporters are advocating is losing members at an alarming rate. The growth of religious denominations in America and around the world is pretty much directly corrolated to how closely they adhere to traditional moral teachings. The two fastest growing denominations (which are also the two largest non-Catholic Christian denominations in the USA) make the Catholic Church look positively progressive on this issue.

John Harville

PANTHER DYNASTY is crumbling.

Dcfred20036

I want to mention something. Since I have been out of Ohio since 1988 and as part of my involvement with this situation, I did some research on what has been going on in the Diocese of Toledo...my guess, the SR readers already know the story. But I can tell you, something is not right there. If I believed in the literal devil- well, I would have to come to the conclusion that he has taken residence in the diocese's HQ: good, decent people getting fired, like Mr. Panetta and evil ones- and yeah, I mean word evil- being moved around...and a killer priest to add to the mix. Oh Lord, have mercy!

DickTracey

The Toledo Blade has done a fantastic job not only telling the victims stories, but they actually played detective and caught the Toledo Diocese in lies!

What struck me the most, was when the 53 year old victim from Bellevue finally went to Toledo to tell his story, the CURRENT members of the Toledo Diocese LIED to him, and told him they could not help him, because the Priest that molested him was dead!

When the victim told the Blade, the Blade then went and found the priest alive and well, living less than 40 minutes from the Toledo Diocese!! SICK!

This would be the same Diocese that helped Melody make her decision?

What is that saying about, "the company you keep"?

Ned Mandingo

Judge, less not you be judged. isn't that what the pedophiles preach to you people.

Ned Mandingo

Its hard to take serious anyone who still supports the catholic church now that it is obvious its run by homosexual pedophiles.

DickTracey

Agreed Ned, and even the priests that didn't touch the boys, LIED and covered up for the ones that did.

Then there are the nuns that pulled little girls out of class to be fondled in the office for an hour and then sent back to class. Those same nuns protected the priests, and even punished little girls that cried.

The Catholics built a breeding ground for these pedophiles, when they asked a man to marry a brick and mortar church. The perfect place for a pedophile to live like a rock star!

Ned Mandingo

The priests are just angry that they didn't know him when he was a young boy.

Dcfred20036

John or Dick- does anyone have info on Melody's previous record, but articles that are on the news record, be it state, local, Ohio/Mi... I have been researching for my blog, but other than press releases, etc I don't find much...but please, no hearsay. Thanks.

John Harville

Monroe Catholic Elementary School website.
Monroe Evening News - I'm calling the Education Editor Monday.

Melody was principal at Monroe St. Mary School. Effective 2011-12 the three Catholic elementary schools combined into Monroe Catholic Elementary School and - like man such schools - consolidating all of certain grade levels in the three schools.
Melody Curtis was appointed Executive Director and was responsible for making the transition for the 2012-13 year. She was in that position less than a year when she applied to SCCS.
She has a BA '05 and MA '07 from Lourdes and is featured on their website.

Dcfred20036

Update: Story has found its way to Washington, DC: WUSA-9 (CBS)

John Harville

It's being forwarded to Bill Maher, also.
It's unfortunate for the students - and for the new band director and Perkins Schools.

Dcfred20036

Thanks John. If true, a tenure of less than one year is NOT a good thing in ANY profession. Now Lourdes is a good school, but maybe they need to teach a course in crisis management. I'm sure had Mr. Dennis Rectenwald been principal still, he would have handled this situation in a more compassionate way. The gay thing aside, one of the things that has given this story "legs" is the way in which it was handled, in the cruelest of ways: not allowing Mr. Panetta to say goodbye to the kids.

John Harville

DC. Here's the place for your research.

From State Rep Denise Dreihous:
"When the (state) budget process started, I met with parochial school principals as well as the legislative liaison for the Catholic Conference to better understand the importance of STATE FUNDING for Catholic Schools. I was able to add language to the House version of the budget to raise the cap on the ADMINISTRATIVE COST REIMBUREMENT line item so the funds in this line could be accessed by the Catholic Schools."

It is possible Melody Curtis' salary/costs are reimbursed through the state.

Sandusky City Schools have to receive and allocate state funds to SCCS. At on time the Music Teacher position(s) was funded with state monies. Even now state funds are allocated for computer, reading, OT, other programs.

John Harville

“The Church’s social teaching proposes principles for reflection; it provides criteria for judgment; it gives guidelines for action” (CCC 2423).

FOR THE sccs COMMUNITY.

According to the Catechism of the Catholic Church, is “the teaching (social doctrine) of the Church on the truth of revelation about human dignity, human solidarity, and the principles of justice and peace; the moral judgments about economic and social matters required by such truth and about the demands of justice and peace”

John Harville

“It is by the path of love, which is charity, that God draws near to man, and man to God. But where charity is not found, God cannot dwell. If, then, we possess charity, we possess God, for ‘God is Charity’ (1 Jn 4:8).” -St. Albert the Great

BTW Melody Curtis' tenure as Executive Director was less than a year in practice though as principal of St. Mary School she was involved as a key player in the transition.

Dcfred20036

I think everyone wishes the new band director well. He just needs to let the band kids process all that has happened. Mourn.

John Harville

“It is by the path of love, which is charity, that God draws near to man, and man to God. But where charity is not found, God cannot dwell. If, then, we possess charity, we possess God, for ‘God is Charity’ (1 Jn 4:8).” -St. Albert the Great

Nemesis

By the way, speaking of double standards, the leftists condemning the Catholic Church for its position are pretty much the same people who want this country to bend over backwards to avoid offending Muslims, who not only would have refused to hire him in the first place, but would, in any country where they had the leeway to do so, have stoned him.

Then there's BYU, which pulled a student's football scholarship for sleeping with his girlfriend - where's your outrage over that? Harville, a BYU chemical engineering professor was recently awarded $975,000 in research funding by the federal government - better grab your protest placard and hightail it to Salt Lake City.

John Harville

BTW Nemesis, speaking of never letting the truth get in the way of making a point:
BYU suspended a BASKETBALL player for the final three games of the 2011 season for sleeping with his girlfriend. They didn't pull a scholarship. In fact he travelled with the team, sat on the bench in a suit, and made the trip to conference championship and NCAA tournament appearances.
Read your point... the scholarship was awarded to a PROFESSOR, not to BYU.

Nemesis

Distinction without a difference. He was discriminatorily excluded on tha basis of his engaging in Constitutionally protected conduct.

When research grants are awarded to professors, the majority of the money actually goes to their academic department. Equipment purchased with the money is the property of the university.

Dance all you want, but there are other institutions getting government money directly whose comparable conduct you are ignoring.

sugar

I am a Conservative, I abhor bigotry and hypocrisy, a basic tenet of true Conservatism. Now about those vouchers that do not exist, Ohio allows 60k vouchers a year under the EdChoice program. Busing, under Ohio law each district is required to bus all elementary students 30 min away from the school they attend, although each district can form it's own policy. Than there is Title 1, school lunches, and IEP although these are services directly going to the student, the private school directly benefits from the funding, as they cannot offer the services without the help of state and fed funding. The government does not produce money so in order to redistribute the money it first must take it from the private sector in the forms of fees, fines, taxes etc.

Nemesis

None of the public schools in this area are failing sufficiently to trigger voucher eligibility. Bus transportation is a service to STUDENTS. The school does not benefit from IEP, etc. funding - it comes in the form of a public school employee rendering services to the students. If these services were not available in this manner then the students would just have to go off campus to avail themselves.

sugar

LOL poor nemesis repeating the refuted statement does not look better the 2nd time. If a public school building was closing that made a child eligible, if the child has an IEP they are eligible, if a child had autism they are eligible if a child moved from a failing district to one that was not failing they could renew their scholarship. Does that help? For the rest of your prattle, I say At taxpayer expense. At taxpayer expense. Quit spinning. They cannot pay for it so they must go to the state or fed government to get the services at taxpayer expense.

CAST THE FIRST STONE

This is not a difficult answer, Band director took a job in a bible base school that Does not believe in men with men. Parents that send their children there do so for the same reason [ not the only reason ]. Parents spend a lot of money to make that happen. I do not care if he is gay but I am not going to hire a person that is going to go against the people that are paying money for a different enviroment.I opened myself to its about the money and peoples rights but I believe when he took the job he knew he did not believe in the schools views, Sounds like a nice guy that picked the wrong school. Good luck to you

John Harville

Protestant teacher in second marriage after divorce in first... thus living in adultery according to Catholic values... knew the school's policy. The person who hired the teacher and the others who work with the teacher knew/know about this. So now if they choose to fire said teacher because the parents who pay for their kids to go to SCCS don't want to 'spend a lot of money" to have their children thinking divorce and adultery are Christian/Catholic? Children learn what they live.
We know what pedophile priests have done to enrollments and Church attendance/membership. Just look at the 'new' plan for education at SCCS, Bishop Hoffman Schools, Calvert Catholic Schools and Melody Curtis' own Monroe Catholic Elementary School.
Or Clyde St. Mary's which kept the upper grades open for one eighth grader, then went K-5, and then closed.
All have been forced to close schools, reorganize under the guise of trying 'a new plan', consolidate grades into buildings to have sufficient children in classrooms... Hire a 'President' to 'manage the operations of the schools'. How's THAT workin' out for you.
"It's all about an equitable and efficient allocation of resources"
...and life in the SCCS edition of "Harper Valley PTA".
The economics of the whole matter IS the whole matter.

Nemesis

Since the teacher's first marriage wasn't solemnized by a priest, there's no conflict.

The primary reason many Catholic schools are closing is that Catholics are having fewer children, just like the reason many public schools are closing is that Americans are having fewer children. Baby boom school supply meets post baby boom demand.

Ned Mandingo

I love when i read "catholic values" lol

John Harville

“It is by the path of love, which is charity, that God draws near to man, and man to God. But where charity is not found, God cannot dwell. If, then, we possess charity, we possess God, for ‘God is Charity’ (1 Jn 4:8).” -St. Albert the Great

starryeyes83

Wait till all the young gay people today, start running into age discrimination.

John Harville

Wait till all the young straight bigots today start running into age discrimination.

and wait until the administration discovers the employee who C/Cs into the school.

John Harville

ABOUT PUBLIC FUNDS... From State Rep Denise Dreihous:
"When the (state) budget process started, I met with parochial school principals as well as the legislative liaison for the Catholic Conference to better understand the importance of STATE FUNDING for Catholic Schools. I was able to add language to the House version of the budget to raise the cap on the ADMINISTRATIVE COST REIMBUREMENT line item so the funds in this line could be accessed by the Catholic Schools."
Translation: Catholic schools can use state money to pay administrative costs like, maybe, a President?
Someone should ask to see the SCCS budgets - at least the portion reimbursed by STATE FUNDS.

Nemesis

No, to pay administrative costs arising from delivering certain mandated services to students.

John Harville

EUTHENASIA: For those/him/her who said I favor Euthanasia I offer the following from the Catechism.

"The natural law and the Fifth Commandment requires that all ordinary means be used to preserve life, such as food, water, exercise, and medical care. Since the middle ages, however, Catholic theologians have recognized that human beings are not morally obligated to undergo every possible medical treatment to save their lives. Treatments that are unduly burdensome or sorrowful to a particular patient, such as amputation, or beyond the economic means of the person, or which only prolong the suffering of a dying person, are morally extraordinary, meaning they are not morally obligatory in a particular case. Medical means may be medically ordinary, but yet morally extraordinary."

It would seem some among us - or perhaps only me - is familiar with the Catechism and the manner in which the Church for centuries has left itself 'wiggle room' on a variety of moral issues.

Nemesis

What's your point? First of all, what you cite has nothing to do with euthanasia, which is intentionally bringing about death out of ostensibly humanitarian motives. That's different from not taking extraordinary measures to prolong life.

John Harville

HOW TO TREAT HUMAN BEINGS.
“The Church’s social teaching proposes principles for reflection; it provides criteria for judgment; it gives guidelines for action” (CCC 2423).

FOR THE sccs COMMUNITY.

According to the Catechism of the Catholic Church, Catholic social teaching is “the teaching (social doctrine) of the Church on the truth of revelation about human dignity, human solidarity, and the principles of justice and peace; the moral judgments about economic and social matters required by such truth and about the demands of justice and peace”

It seems the Church has guidelines on how its employees/representatives are to counsel and work with employees who the 'Church' representative believes need to be 'outsourced'. How unfortunate Mrs. Curtis didn't study this aspect of the CCC.

More and more it is appearing Mr Panetta is the ONLY person who acted completely within the guidelines set out by the Church.

John Harville

CHARITY TOWARD OTHERS.

“It is by the path of love, which is charity, that God draws near to man, and man to God. BUT WHERE CHARITY IS NOT FOUND, GOD CANNOT DWELL. If, then, we possess charity, we possess God, for ‘God is Charity’ (1 Jn 4:8).” -St. Albert the Great

John Harville

About public funds in the SCCS budget... look it up for yourself on the website, click on Foundation.

Funding - as percent of total INCOME budget:
Parish Funding...23% $993,100
STATE FUNDING (as reported in the pie chart) 13% $566,579

Spending - as part of total expenditures
COMPENSATION... 68% $3.01 million

SCCS lists STATE FUNDING as part of its budget.
A state representative talked with Catholic Schools representatives about how to put STATE TAX DOLLARS FOR CATHOLIC SCHOOLS in the state budget.
SCCS budgets state funds.
The STATE builds into the STATE budget TAXPAYER DOLLARS for "private schools".
Portions of those tax dollars are part of the SCCS BUDGET that pays more than $3 million in compensation to employees.
Under Ohio law ANY agency which receives state funds is subject to Sunshine Laws and transparency. The fact SCCS and the Diocese released a portion of the employee contract automatically makes the employee contract generally a matter of public record.

SANDUSKY REGISTER... please do your job and hold SCCS accountable.

Nemesis

Funds that are pass through to served students are not funding to the institution, but they still must be accounted in the budget.

Personally, I'd like to close the public schools and just give every child in the state, but under current Ohio law, none of what you're talking about matters - the state does not prohibit discrimination on the basis of orientation, and this is an employment at will state.

John Harville

EVERY DONOR, by name, to SCCS is listed in the annual report on the SCCS website. Hundreds of donors are listed. Some may soon be receiving letters concerning this issue.

Perhaps opinions/support should be expressed to the
Central Catholic School
Board of Directors

•DR.CRAIG TYLER* - Chair of the Board
•Dr. Lou Ralofsky - Vice Chair of the Board
•Mrs. Tamara Humphrey - Secretary of the Board
•Mr. Chris Knight - Superintendent of Diocese of Toledo
•Rev. Joseph Steinbauer - Pastor, Catholic Parishes of Sandusky
•Mrs. Melody Curtis - President of Sandusky Central Catholic School
•Mr. Mike Savona - Head Academic Officer of Sandusky Central Catholic School

•DR. ERIC DUDENHOEFER*

•Mr. David Harrison

•Mr. Kenneth Berlin

•Mrs. Mary Murphy

•Dr. Robert Kaftan

•Mr. Duffield Milkie

•Mr. Bryan Kasper, Education Foundation Representative

Drs Bryan and Dudenhoefer chaired the search committee that brought Mrs. Curtis to SCCS.

Nemesis

You've been making a lot of noise with very little point. What would you like them to actually do?

Ned Mandingo

It is useless to argue with Catholics who believe they are normal people. The people who judge this guy are doing so based on fairy tails. Your religion is a scam and those that believe it are brainwashed sheeple.
How insecure are you people that you feel your "values" are threatened buy this guy being gay. I done know him but I would bet that he is a better person the those that are judging him. He is better off not working there, catholic schools usually pay about half the salaries of normal schools.
It would be funny when he sues them and settles out of court with the creeps in Toledo he donates some of the money to a gay rights charity.

Ned Mandingo

Who was the first person to be born on dec. 25th, died for three day, rose again, had 12 followers, three wise men?
Jesus? Nope the Egyptian god Horus about 5, 000 years ago. Jesus follows over 20 sons of god in history with the same story.
It's a old astrology story that comes from pagans.

Dcfred20036

John- vigorous oversight by the board is needed. Now, if the board is full of "yes" people --well, nothing will change. When the Carla Hale scandal broke out in Columbus, many in the Bishop Watterson community thought it was a good thing and actually did not mind the bad press. However I believe that the school got in trouble with the City of Columbus, as there is a city ordinance prohibiting this kind of thing.

http://www.hirebrianback.blogspo...

sugar

Now I have a simple question, are you crazy? You are right on one account this is bigger than SCCS, if you want to be angry go write a letter to the editor at the Toledo Blade, today he wrote a scathing opinion piece about the matter. Does not put the school in a positive light, but than neither are you. I would suggest some anger management, because I plan to post here and on other threads that may come on the issue because I can.

sanduskymom

You didn't answer my question.

sugar

Because your question is not based in reality. It is really sad though that you would bring children into the equation. It's more then sad it's quite disturbing. And you wonder why the church has fewer and fewer parishioners. You really need to seek treatment for your delusions. Your not here to debate you are here to crucify, how utterly horrid.

sanduskymom

I'll try this one more time. I am certainly not here to crucify and this is absolutely based in reality. You have stated your grandchildren attend the school. My question is not out of line, and I totally respect your ability to choose where your grandchildren are educated. So my question is, why would you PAY tuition to send them to a CATHOLIC school if you so strongly disagree with what they expect from their staff / employees? Seems silly to pay for something you don't believe in?!

sugar

I have never stated such a thing, you keep implying it. Question for you, are all the students at the school Catholic? I can answer that one, no.

sugar

This thread is now down, and I am done with your silliness. Have a nice evening.

sanduskymom

Right. You have. I understand - you won't answer it. And no, not all children are Catholic at the school. I never said they were. But, their parents / guardians must think it's worth the investment to send them there. I'll bet they could answer my question. Maybe it's easier to answer when you have to pay more in tuition.

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