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Woman in same-sex marriage sues Missouri diocese following dismissal from parish position

July 21, 2014

A Missouri woman who is civilly married to a female Lutheran minister has sued Bishop Robert Finn and the Diocese of Kansas City – St. Joseph after she was dismissed from her position as her parish’s coordinator of social ministry.

Colleen Simon said that she told both the current and former pastor of St. Francis Xavier Church, a Jesuit parish in Kansas City, that she was part of a same-sex marriage, and neither objected. After her relationship was discussed in a local magazine, she was dismissed, the Kansas City Star reported.

Simon, whose same-sex marriage ceremony took place in Iowa, grew up Catholic but attends Lutheran services.

“As needed, we will defend our constitutional freedom to practice our faith and uphold the integrity of our mission and public witness,” the diocese said in a statement.


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  • Posted by: Bernadette - Jul. 24, 2014 3:26 PM ET USA

    Every diocese needs a well-worded, clear, transparent, faithful to Church teaching guide for the hiring of lay employees, office staff, teachers, lay volunteers, lectors, Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion, sacristans, etc...etc...Bishop Robert Vasa (formerly of Baker, OR and now bishop of Santa Rosa, CA) wrote one entitled "Testimony to the Truth." Look it up online. He sticks with these guidelines, but has admitted that it is not that easy to implement them; however, he keeps at it.

  • Posted by: Rose of Lima - Jul. 21, 2014 9:12 PM ET USA

    Good for Bishop Finn! Perhaps she should apply for a similar job with her Lutheran Church since she is no longer Catholic by choice. If you want to belong to the club, you must abide by the rules; that goes for any organization, not just the Catholic Church.

  • Posted by: TheJournalist64 - Jul. 21, 2014 7:52 PM ET USA

    Much will depend on the exact wording of the employee manuals. Pastors take note!

  • Posted by: jg23753479 - Jul. 21, 2014 6:48 PM ET USA

    Why is a Lutheran who converted from Catholicism a "coordinator" in a Catholic parish to begin with? Forget about her sins committed behind closed doors, what about what she is doing in full view of the public?