An unmarried Catholic school teacher in Pennsylvania was fired for getting pregnant, making her only the latest in a long line of popular educators booted from their jobs for not adhering to certain doctrinal matters.
[Naiad] Reich didn’t want to be fired and understands the Catholic morality code. The couple also wants to get married on their own terms. Reich lost her job last Friday.
A spokesperson for the diocese said, “The Diocese of Harrisburg is unable to comment on personnel matters. However, as outlined in our policies, every professional employee agrees to follow the teachings, doctrine, and laws of the Catholic Church as part of the hiring process.“
None of this is all that surprising. This year alone, we’ve covered stories of Catholic school teachers who were fired (or pushed out) for being in a same-sex relationship, cohabitating, and attending a lesbian wedding.
The Church has every right to demand religious loyalty from their faculty members. If students and parents don’t support this type of religious bigotry, they should stop attending Our Lady of Lourdes Regional School — or the Church altogether.
Also bear in mind that the kind of Catholic purity disproportionately affects women. While they may be fired for getting pregnant out of wedlock, it’s possible some of the male teachers have impregnated women but the school never found out about it. Reich’s problem isn’t just that she “sinned.” It’s that her sin was visible.
Some on Twitter argued that Reich should have known better than to break Catholic rules while working for the Catholic Church. That’s perfectly fair, but it’s still worth pointing out the blatant hypocrisy of an institution that prides itself on being “pro life.” If Reich had an abortion — something the Church obviously opposes, she would likely still have her job. Instead, she was effectively punished for keeping the baby. (It’s not the first time we’ve heard that story either.)
Surely there must be some way to censure the teacher without making it difficult for her to provide for her future child. If nothing else, they could have used her as an example of how the community comes together to help an unwed mom, celebrating her decision to complete her pregnancy when a secret abortion would have been easier.
Instead, they fired her. Probably before patting themselves on the back for being such exemplars of morality.
(Screenshot via WNEP)