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Indianapolis archbishop issues letter about Roncalli decision

August 21, 2018

The Indianapolis archbishop addressed the controversy over a Catholic high school guidance counselor suspended after her same-sex marriage became known, saying she's a minister of the church called to share in its mission.

The Indianapolis Archdiocese posted online Tuesday a letter from the Most Rev. Charles Thompson saying teachers and guidance counselors are ministers of the faith who must lead by word and example, and whose obligations "are clearly spelled out in school ministerial job descriptions and contracts."

Indianapolis Roncalli High School counselor Shelly Fitzgerald has been placed on administrative leave. She's worked for the school for 15 years and has been with her partner for 22 years. She said she's hired an attorney to fight the school's decision.

"When a person is not fulfilling their obligations as a minister of the faith within a school, Church and school leadership address the situation by working with the person to find a path of accompaniment that will lead to a resolution in accordance with Church teaching," he wrote.

Thompson said the church considers marriage "a permanent partnership between one man and one woman."

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