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Statement from Abbot Austin G. Murphy, OSB, Abbot of St. Procopius Abbey

After a meeting of the Benet Academy Board of Directors, the school announced on September 21, 2021 that it was hiring Ms. Amanda Kammes as the girls lacrosse coach, despite her being in a same sex marriage. This reversed a previous decision not to hire her.

The matter raises the question of what a Catholic high school should require from those who work with and form its students. In particular, is it necessary that the witness of their public lives not be in opposition to Catholic moral teaching? I believe this requirement is necessary and, therefore am deeply troubled by the school's decision which calls into question its adherence to the doctrines of the Catholic faith. In turn, I want to let everyone know that I am taking this matter to prayer and discerning how to proceed.

Pope Francis has been clear that our love and respect for all persons is not in contradiction with Church doctrine on the sacrament of matrimony and teachings on sexuality. He recently approved a document from the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith that reaffirmed the Church’s teaching on homosexuality. At the same time, it is important to note that honest disagreements about the morality of homosexual acts should not be construed as hate. If we give in to the voices that say that disagreement equals hate, then we allow civil discourse to perish.

We will communicate further information as the matter develops.

I ask that as we navigate the tensions arising from this and other disagreements, we stay rooted in the peace of Christ, especially through prayer.

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