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Local reaction: Pope Francis endorses same-sex civil unions

Impact of Pope's comments on local cases
Posted at 6:34 PM, Oct 21, 2020
and last updated 2020-10-21 18:34:22-04

INDIANAPOLIS — As Pope Francis announces his support for same-sex civil unions, WRTV is working to find out what impact this could have here locally.

Lawsuits are pending for a teacher and guidance counselor who were fired from two different catholic schools for being in a same-sex marriage.

On Wednesday, the attorney for those fired employees said she is feeling hopeful.

“It is reassuring and also encouraging to my clients and to our law firm as well that the position we've taken from the beginning has been validated by the leader of the Catholic Church,” said Kathleen DeLaney of DeLaney & Delaney LLC.

Pope Francis has been quoted as saying community members in same-sex civil unions deserve to be protected and welcome in a family, but DeLaney says that is not what happened for her clients.

One was a teacher at Cathedral High School, the other was a guidance counselor at Roncalli High School. They were both fired after the Archbishop in Indianapolis said the schools must “separate” from them or the schools would no longer be recognized as Catholic.

“The Archbishop of Indianapolis is clearly out of sync with his boss, the Pope in Rome, as well as being out of sync with the majority of Catholics and the majority of Americans as a whole,” said DeLaney.

She is hoping this recent announcement will inspire change.

“We are hoping that this will cause the Archbishop to reconsider his very concerted campaign going after members of the gay Catholic community, and we hope that he will seek to make amendments with our clients who were wrongfully terminated because of who they are and to whom they're married,” said DeLaney.

A spokesperson for the Archdiocese of Indianapolis said they are waiting on comment from the Vatican. In an email he also said, “I don’t know for certain what the Pope said and no one at the Vatican apparently has seen this documentary. Even if the comment that’s being reported is accurate it doesn’t change anything in Church teaching and in the past when the Pope has talked about civil unions he never said that a civil union for same-sex couples was the same thing as a sacramental marriage recognized by the Catholic Church.”

Both of DeLaney’s cases are still being reviewed by the courts.

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