And at a kitchen table here in central Ohio, a typically cheerful woman dabbed her eyes and wondered aloud what she’d done wrong.
The answer is in one sense simple: she made a life with another woman. While the Catholic Church doesn’t condemn homosexuality per se, it considers any physical expression of it sinful. And Carla’s “public declaration of an extramarital relationship,” meaning the obituary, indicated that she was flouting Catholic tenets and thus breaching her contract, according to a statement the diocese e-mailed me.
But things get complicated when you consider the selectiveness of the church’s outrage, the capriciousness of its mercy.
Until public exposure shamed them, many church leaders protected priests whose sexual transgressions involved minors and were criminal.
Church leaders tolerate teachers at Catholic schools who are married with no kids or with few. Some are surely using artificial birth control, which the church officially opposes.
“A lot of people want me to be bitter and go after the Catholic Church,” she said, adding that others want to cast her as a lesbian heroine. She just wants her job back, a recognition, she said, “that I’m a moral individual who happens to be gay.”