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Catholic Chestnut Hill College Fires Gay Priest For Being Gay

Catholic College Fires Openly Gay Priest: MyFoxPHILLY.com

With a name like Father James St. George, well, my first instinct is to assume the man is gay, because that name is fabulous. And I’m right! But that’s also what got the 45-year-old fired from Chestnut Hill College outside Philadelphia. Except didn’t Chestnut Hill know about Father St. George?

He tells Fox 59 Philadelphia the small private Roman Catholic school knew not only about his sexuality, but that he was part of the Old Catholic Church Of The Americas, a Catholic sect that left the Vatican in 1870 and supports both gay clergy and priest marriages.

A quick Google search when the college hired him would have revealed that, but the college said in a statement, “it was with great disappointment when we learned through St. George’s public statements of his involvement in a gay relationship with another man for the past 15 years.”

The college never spoke to Father St. George, he says, they sent a letter, and then refused to take his calls.

His firing coincides with an email sent to Philadelphia Cardinal Justin Rigali and the college from James Pepper, a local lawyer who called the priest a “heretic.” “I serve as a trauma chaplain, I help broken people. I run a parish, a small parish in Blue Bell, take care of people who have no hope. I teach kids how to become better adults,” Father St. George said. “A school that is supposed to teach religious understanding is not even being tolerant.”

For his part, St. George says that while he never brought up his sexuality in class, it’s not like he worked to hide it. And it appears pretty clear that Chestnut Hill made its decision based not on its previous knowledge of someone in their employ, but with the local scandal James Pepper, the attorney, attempted to create. And these schools wonder why their enrollment is hurting? And the Catholic Church wonders why the number of followers, and the number of men looking to become priests, is dwindling? “What am I supposed to do?” says St. George. “Say, before we go any further, I’m gay? Who says that?”

Now let’s see if St. George, who was set to begin teaching classes on Tuesday, tries the legal route, claiming his firing was over sexual orientation — something the church will undoubtedly claim it was the religious exemption to do.

On:           Feb 27, 2011
Tagged: , , , , ,
    • Sam

      I dont buy into the fact that they did not know he was gay.

      Feb 27, 2011 at 4:04 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • David

      While the Roman Catholic Church has much to atone for in terms of its treatment of the LGBT community, in this case, it would seem to me that the issue is about having an Old Catholic Church of the Americas priest minister to a Roman Catholic community. Having clergy from a different denomination minister at a Catholic college was probably not what they were looking for. Should they have been more careful in researching his credentials? SURE. Homophobic…not so sure. Queery, just as the Catholic Church needs to do better, so do you before casting the first stone.

      Feb 27, 2011 at 8:27 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • justiceontherocks

      The Romans did what they always do: they said everything was OK until a larger donor threatened to shut off donations, then they abandoned the gay guy like he had the plague.

      Whenever the Romans are involved, just follow the money.

      Feb 27, 2011 at 10:16 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Ogre Magi

      He looks pretty gay

      Feb 27, 2011 at 12:05 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Steve

      @David: Except, the statement from this church specifies that they were disappointed to learn he was gay. Sounds to me like that was why they fired him. Why bring it up if it wasn’t?

      Feb 27, 2011 at 12:58 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Jurlesia

      @David Don’t be an Uncle Tom apologist for that virulently homophobic instution. If his different religious background was such a problem, why did that issue never come up in his 15+ years of service and only when he became the target of a homophobic lawyer, outting him as well as defaming him, did he get fired? Besides, even the school’s statement upon his firing read, “It was with great disappointment when we learned through St. George’s public statements of his involvement in a gay relationship with another man for the past 15 years.” How much more clear do they need to be??

      Feb 27, 2011 at 1:23 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • the crustybastard


      Well said and true.

      Christians insist they have some special right to fire people for their beliefs?

      Fine. Then everybody else should have the SAME right, which would include the right to fire people for believing in gods, demigods, miracles and holy books.

      Feb 27, 2011 at 5:46 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • John

      “Openly” Gay Priest…

      Feb 27, 2011 at 6:41 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • McMike

      Wow, it’s been estimated between 60 & 80 percent of the priesthood is queer (via Bishop Robinson in a lecture) so they seriously need to stop being such hypocrites and fire everyone else.

      The Vatican is the biggest employer of gay men on this planet. Shite, you could go to any gay bar and find more straight men working there.

      Feb 27, 2011 at 7:46 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • the crustybastard


      The church is no more or less hypocritical than its gay priests.

      If they were to grow a conscience and choose to end this pointless persecution, they could make that happen by the end of the year. But they are cravenly comfortable in their cowardice and venality.

      I find scarcely anything more repulsive than a gay Roman Catholic priest.

      Feb 27, 2011 at 11:53 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Clyde Hamilton

      When is the Catholic Church going to admit that the priesthood is gay? The very collar they wear is a symbol from the Babylonian Mystery Religion. The collar was worn by the “boys” they had captive on a “dog collar” for their pleasure. The Roman Catholic is not a Christian Church!! Deal with it. The Pope is gay and should have the courage to admit it!

      Mar 9, 2011 at 9:41 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • farquar st. farquar

      1. When did you find out that he is a convicted felon?
      2. When did you find out that he was fired by Albert Einstein for impersonating a Roman Catholic priest?
      3. When did you find out that he was fired by Lehigh Valley Hospital for impersonating a Roman Catholic priest?
      4. When did you find out that your column about St. George “concelebrating” the Cassidy Mass with the “permission” of Rigali was a predicated on a complete and utter lie?
      5. When did you find out that Jim St. George stole over a million dollars from people who invested in his casket business?
      6. When did you find out that he was dishonorably discharged from the Navy?
      7. Ask him about why he was expelled from the Episcopal seminary (Virginia Theological). It involves forgery….Or did you know that back story already? It’s quite something…
      8. Do you know about all of his bankruptcies?
      9. What is it like to be played by a 21st century version of a snake oil salesman?

      Jul 31, 2011 at 8:35 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·

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