St. Gabriel Parish employee terminated from music ministry
CHARLOTTE — Steav Congdon, the leader of the music ministry at St. Gabriel Parish, was terminated from his position Jan. 19 after violating the Diocese of Charlotte employee ethics policy, diocesan officials said Feb. 10.
St. Gabriel's pastor, Father Francis O'Rourke, sent an email to parishioners about the termination on Feb. 10 after learning that the former employee had spoken with Charlotte area media about being fired.
The diocese does not typically comment on personnel matters in individual parishes, but diocesan officials decided to comment in this case after a Charlotte area newspaper indicated it planned to publish a story about Congdon's termination later this week.
According to the termination letter, Congdon was fired from his post as music minister at St. Gabriel Parish by Father O'Rourke when it came to Father O'Rourke's attention that Congdon had joined another man in a civil union recognized as a marriage by the State of New York – a public act that is in disobedience to Church teaching and which violates the diocese's employee ethics policy.
Marriage can only be the union between one man and one woman, as established in natural law and set forth as a holy sacrament by Christ and His Church. Church teaching emphasizes that all people, including those with a homosexual orientation, are made in the image of God and therefore deserving of dignity and respect, but that the sacrament of matrimony is designed by God as the basis for family life and the conceiving and raising of children.
As with all employees of the Diocese of Charlotte, Congdon agreed upon his employment in 2004 to follow the diocese's ethics policy and a personnel policy that requires employees to conduct themselves in a manner consistent with the teachings of the Catholic Church. The employee handbook requiring this standard of conduct was updated in 2009, along with an ethics policy that requires employee conduct that is in keeping with Church teaching.
"His same-sex union in 2011 was in direct opposition to those policies and the teachings of the Catholic Church, and his termination was based on this alone," said David Hains, diocesan director of communication. Hains continued, "Individuals engaged in ministry while at the same time in opposition to Church teaching present a confusing message to the people of faith who look to the Church for guidance on their journey to salvation."
— Patricia L. Guilfoyle, editor
Deacon James Toner: What we know that ain't so: Gud EdjakashunWhat we think is the right road About five years ago, Mark Bauerlein challenged readers by contending that we must learn not to trust anyone under the age of 30. What he called "the dumbest generation" has achieved "viewer literacy," Bauerlein...
Father Tadeusz Pacholczyk: 'Redefining' marriage?In the current debate over gay "marriage," people sometimes ask: Who should define marriage? Democrats or Republicans in Congress? The Supreme Court? Should it be put to a referendum, allowing the majority to choose a definition? We can identify...
Robert D. Potter Jr.: What's wrong with homosexual marriage?The U.S. Supreme Court is set to consider whether a state is required to recognize homosexual "marriage" under the 14th Amendment to the Constitution. In the flood of secular media messages and accounts, many Catholics may be confused and even...
Anne Tinsdale: Offer it up"Offer it up": the great mantra of our beloved Catholic school nuns! What did they know that we can learn about sacrifice and suffering? On a purely human level the value and necessity of sacrifice and suffering is difficult to imagine, but...
Deacon James Toner: What we know that ain't so: Oppressive ChurchWhat we think is the right road Among the greatest champions of human liberty are Darwin, Freud, Marx and Nietzsche, all of whom would have agreed with Voltaire's expression of contempt for the Catholic Church: "Crush the infamous!" All we...
Allison Schumacher: St. Joseph: A saint to know"I do not remember even now that I have ever asked anything of him which he has failed to grant...I wish I could persuade everyone to be devoted to this glorious saint, for I have long experience of the great blessings which he can obtain from...
Deacon James Toner: What we know that ain't so: Holy warWhat we think is the right road
If ever there were an oxymoron – a contradiction in terms – it surely is "holy war." War is always horrible, always a great evil, always morally unjustifiable. The Catechism of the Catholic Church makes...
LETTERS FROM OUR READERS
Synod survey questions didn't need to be so difficultThe Feb. 13 edition of the Catholic News Herald published an article regarding the process of information gathering by the Synod of Bishops on the Family, specifically the difficulty of the survey...
Abortion reversal kits give women a second chanceIt is a scary, cruel world nowadays. That anxiety can be multiplied tenfold when you are a pro-life emergency department health care provider, like me. The emergency department is filled with...
Tired rhetoric of race only creates division, not unityIn response to the Jan. 16 commentary "Race, bias and fear of 'the other,'" we were both compelled to write a response. Read original commentary here. As...
FROM THE PASTORS
Read and listen to homilies posted regularly by pastors at parishes within the Diocese of Charlotte:
- Fr. Roger Arnsparger at St. John the Baptist in Tryon
- Fr. Frank Cancro at Queen of the Apostles
- Fr. Jason Christian at St. Thomas Aquinas in Charlotte
- Fr. Patrick Earl at St. Peter in Charlotte
- Fr. Matthew Kauth at St. Thomas Aquinas in Charlotte
- Fr. Timothy Reid at St. Ann in Charlotte
- Fr. Christopher Riehl's archive from St. Thomas Aquinas in Charlotte
- Fr. Benjamin Roberts at Our Lady of Lourdes in Monroe. Listen to homily podcasts.
- Fr. Joshua Voitus at St. Mary, Mother of God Parish in Sylva, including homilies in Spanish
- Fr. Patrick Winslow at St. Thomas Aquinas in Charlotte
- Gospel reflection videos from St. Matthew Church
- Watch full Masses live and on demand, listen to homilies and reflections from Sacred Heart Church in Salisbury
- Listen and watch homilies from St. Thomas Aquinas in Charlotte
- Listen to homilies from St. William Catholic Church in Murphy