Wednesday, May 10, 2006

The Catholic Church is not joking around:

Teacher says she was fired over in vitro

MILWAUKEE - Kelly Romenesko was teaching French at two Roman Catholic schools in Appleton when she and her husband decided to start a family using in vitro fertilization.

After asking for some time off in September 2004 to complete the procedure, the lifelong Catholic gave her boss an update about a month later: She was pregnant.

But only days after that, she said, she got a pink slip by the Catholic school system. Administrators, according to her lawyer James C. Jones, claimed Romenesko violated a provision of her employment contract saying a teacher has to act in accordance with Catholic doctrine....

Catholic teaching holds that the procedure is morally wrong because it replaces the "natural" conjugal union between husband and wife and often results in destruction of embryos.

Even though Jones said the couple used their own eggs and sperm and none of the embryos were destroyed in the process, the church forbids such donations and condemns all forms of experimentation on human embryos....

The in vitro fertilization issue was first highlighted for Catholics in "Donum Vitae," a 1987 church instruction written by the cabinet of Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, now Pope Benedict XVI, on "respect for human life in its origin and the dignity of procreation."...

I'm torn on the question of whether this is employment discrimination. Maybe the balance we'll ultimately strike is that religious organizations will be free to impose their moral codes on employees, however much those codes deviate from the morals of the mainstream -- and the rest of us will start to realize that we'd be crazy to take a job with these extremists unless we were utterly desperate.

Sooner or later, I suppose, the Catholic Church will issue cilices to all unmarried employees -- after all, to Catholics, masturbation is a sin, too.

(Via Democratic Underground.)

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