EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA


December 13, 2013

Letter: School was worried about image, not what was right

To the editor:

I have taught in Catholic schools for 50 years and subscribed to The Eagle-Tribune for more than 40, and today I read the best letter to the editor that I have ever read (”For fired teachers, no room at this inn.” Dec. 11). It was written by Beckie Jani about the couple who were fired at Lawrence Catholic Academy for being in violation of their contract.

Ms. Jani’s writing is coherent, perceptive and considerate, with some keen insights into the essence of Christianity. She clearly knows the difference between knowledge (facts, rules, laws) and wisdom (applying knowledge to do what is right). Her comparing this situation with that of Christ’s passion, showing the parallel between today’s authorities and the actions of Pilate and Herod was a striking analogy.

Obviously, Lawrence Catholic Academy was concerned with its image, i.e., “What will people think if we have two teachers in violation of their contract and we do not terminate them? That we are acting in a manner similar to the recent scandal of the pedophile priests?”

Today’s advertising mentality has brainwashed us to the point that image is now more important than reality, and the authorities at the academy seem to have been more concerned about how their action would be perceived rather than whether it was the right thing to do. The right thing to do would be to take into account the love that Natalie and Sean have for each other and their fetus, since an abortion would have prevented the discovery of the pregnancy and the couple obviously rejected that option. The fact that they are both experienced, well-respected teachers who are willing to make the sacrifice to teach for parochial school wages should indicate that they are not trying to subvert the educational process. Allowing them to resign would have been a wise and just option.

I wonder what Pope Francis might think about this situation.

Gerard Ford


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