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By Diogenes (bio - articles ) | Apr 05, 2009

The administration at my boy's school is just appalling. Yesterday he came home with a notice that he'd been suspended for three days. I said, "Bryan, what did you do to get suspended?" He said, "Nothing." I said, "Well what reason did the principal give you?" He said, "No reason. She just hates me." I said, "But why now?" And he said, "I don't know. I guess my shoes were untied." Now really, something should be done about that impossible woman!

On overhearing the conversation above, most of us would think it tells us more about the mom recounting it than about the principal she was disparaging. Yes, there exist unjust school administrators.  Yes, they sometimes act vindictively.  But even the exercise of iniquity requires a certain minimal public plausibility.

The National Catholic Reporter continues to huff and puff at the embers of the Kolpack Termination Scandal, hoping to fan enough outrage to burn the bishop in the process. Diocese of Madison pastoral associate Ruth Kolpack, you remember, was fired by Bishop Robert Morlino. Ace investigative reporter Mike Sweitzer-Beckman, in an update issued yesterday, reveals the reason for the discharge:

In 2003, Kolpack wrote a thesis for a master’s degree in which she argued for more gender-inclusive language in Catholic liturgies. Last month, after meeting with Kolpack briefly, the bishop asked her to denounce that paper. When she refused, he fired her.

Gender-inclusive language. Right. Once again, such an explanation tells us more about the persons who'd believe it than about the situation it purports to describe. I suppose there's a segment of NCR readers who are impatient with the kind of calm even-handedness John Allen displays and who prefer to remain in that fantasy world where bad bad bishops clobber innocent, orthodox, Church-loving layfolk simply because of six-year-old sympathies for inclusive language. Their grasp of reality is not reassuring.

Here's a hyperlink to Kolpack's thesis. It seems that, by an oversight, Sweitzer-Beckman failed to provide it. Here's a hyperlink to the Diocese of Madison's statement on the firing. It seems that, by an oversight, Sweitzer-Beckman failed to provide it.

It is not established, at present, whether Kolpack's shoes were untied.

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