SPRINGFIELD (RNS) A Catholic high school official in Massachusetts says she was pressured to leave her job after marrying her female partner in August.
Christine M. Judd, who served as athletic director and dean of students at Cathedral High School in Springfield, Mass., said she is no longer an employee of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Springfield after a meeting Wednesday (Sept. 1) with school administrators.
The diocese listed her departure as a resignation. On Friday, Judd said she had no plans to sue the diocese.
“I was given a choice of termination or resignation,” Judd said. “I’m hurt, but I wish nothing but the best for Cathedral, its students, the parents, the athletic teams, administration and faculty.”
Judd, a Springfield resident, worked for the Catholic school for 12 years, beginning as a science teacher in 1998. She became dean of students six years ago and was given the added duties of athletic director three years ago.
“I married my partner this summer,” Judd said. “I was hoping that my loyalty, my professionalism the last 12 years would supersede the current hypocrisy that has already been shown with the Diocese of Springfield.”
Asked to elaborate on her claim of hypocrisy, Judd said she questions if there are laypeople who work for the Catholic diocese who divorce and remarry without an annulment, or employees who use birth control, or men who have had vasectomies, or individuals who are pro-choice on abortion.
Same-sex marriage became legal in Massachusetts in 2004.
Mark E. Dupont, a diocese spokesman, said Judd did resign, but declined to respond to Judd’s comments, or on the issue of her marriage in August.
“Because it’s an employment matter, we are not at liberty to discuss the specifics,” Dupont said.
Judd said state law gives the right to same-sex marriage, but it is not allowed under diocesan policy, leading to her job loss.
“Cathedral had nothing to do with this,” Judd said. “This was a diocesan decision.”
Judd said her decision to leave the school followed a meeting with the school principal, John Miller, and the business director.
“Without being specific to this matter, it should be clear that all employees of our Catholic schools are made aware of our policies and regulations,” Dupont said. “This includes language that clearly states that whenever by public example, an employee engages in or espouses conduct which contravenes the doctrine and teaching of the Catholic Church, that employee may be subject to disciplinary action. To do otherwise would be in contradiction to the values we believe in and are teaching in these same schools. So while we certainly want to be compassionate and understanding, we must be true to who we are.”
“We are certainly thankful to Ms Judd for her past service at Cathedral High School and wish her the best in the future,” Dupont said.