I reported last night on the firing of a Mount St. Mary Academy English teacher, Tippi McCullough, because, on Wednesday, she married her long-time partner, Barbara Mariani, in New Mexico…. McCullough, in her 15th year at the school, said Principal Diane Wolfe told her she must resign or be fired (though a school employee had first called and warned her not to get married. She implied that a decision not to marry might protect McCullough's job.) McCullough had no interest in returning to work at a place unwelcome to her decision nor to go quietly. So she was fired. Sometime last night, her photograph was removed from the Mount St. Mary website….
The principal said that the signing of a legal document on marital status forced her to act in obedience to her own contract as school administrator. She said she'd have done the same had a staff member divorced without an annulment or happened to be an abortion provider.
Wolfe said she was just a messenger:
Ms. [Dr. Bauman is a he] Bauman,
While I respect your thoughts, concerns and theological expertise, you really have no clue. This was not just my decision. I am only the messenger.
Perhaps you would be more informed to direct your opinions to the Catholic church. Do you honestly think a lowly high school principal of 531 girls would take this kind of monumental action on a whim or based on my "conservative views?" You and many others are making grandiose assumptions and if you think this decision conflicts with the spirit of the Vatican II perhaps you need to take this up with the Catholic church which made the decision.
I am contractually bound by the parameters set forth by the church teachings. It was brought to my attention that by entering into a same sex civil union, whereby a public document was generated, one would be in direct violation of the morals clause of the employee contract. I would be instructed and bound to do the same action were documentation provided to me that an employee of a Catholic school divorced and remarried without an annulment or if an employee had a side line business of performing abortions.
It is not for me to decide, judge or disobey the tenets of the church. I was hired to uphold my contractual obligations as a Catholic school administrator and to carry out those functions, as unpleasant as they may be. It seems many are quick to judge my actions as my decision and accuse me of cowardice in the performance of what I was hired to do.
Do you not think it took moral courage to carry out and uphold the tenets of the church and the directives of those responsible for giving oversight to those tenets? I urge you to quit being so naive to think this was solely my decision and solely my action.
Diane Wolfe, Principal; Mount St. Mary Academy