When this story first made national and statewide news here in Montana, natural sympathy welled up for the teacher who was reportedly fired from her job as a Catholic school teacher when she was known to be pregnant out of wedlock.
To read the media reports, it appeared as some poor young teacher accidentally got pregnant, and the mean old Catholic school just fired her.
So, why won’t the teacher do interviews with media? And now, as a “progressive Catholic” group drops off petitions in Helena, we read that her friend is quoted as saying Shaela Evenson wanted to get pregnant.
It’s one thing if a teacher *at a Catholic school* simply got pregnant and then got fired. It’s quite another if a teacher purposely got pregnant just to poke a finger in the eye of the Catholic school and then hope for a potential payout topping one million dollars.
From The Helena Independent Record:
Hawthorne said she spoke to Evenson Thursday morning, who she said is overwhelmed by the public support she’s received.
“Of all the people, this is not what Shaela would ever want, to be in the limelight. She just wanted to be able to have a baby and this was so incredible that all these supporters are coming out for her,” Hawthorne said.
Evenson has not granted an interview to reporters since her firing.
It’s starting to sound like there may be much more to this story than the initial hype led us all to believe.
Butte Teacher Fired for Pregnancy Out of Wedlock
Isn’t this the perfect case for a little grace and compassion? Or, is it time that the Catholic Church upholds values and standards? That appears to be the debate in Butte, Montana after a Catholic school teacher was fired when it was revealed that she became pregnant outside of marriage- a violation of her school contract. (Let me just say that I certainly lean towards the grace and compassion side of this debate)
FoxNews.com: Unmarried Catholic teacher fired over pregnancy says she will pursue legal action
Patrick Haggarty, the superintendent of Catholic schools for the diocese, said Tuesday that Butte Central teacher Shaela Evenson “made a willful decision to violate the terms of her contract,” which requires her to respect the moral and religious teachings of the Catholic Church in both her professional and personal life.
Evenson told The Montana Standard that she is pursuing legal action, but deferred other questions to her lawyer. An email from her attorney, Brian Butler of Cincinnati, said he was not available to answer questions Tuesday.
The diocese doesn’t investigate the personal lives of its employees, but it was forced to act when it learned about the pregnancy, Diocese spokesman Dan Bartleson said.
Meanwhile, the anonymous liberal Montana Cowgirl blog is jumping into the debate- criticizing the Catholic Church as a whole for leaders who looked the other way following rape and pedophilia in the past, while allowing this young woman to be fired so promptly.
Here’s the full post: How a Dying Organization Thinks (full post used with permission)
If you sexually abuse and rape little kids and conspire to cover up allegations from 362 victims, the Helena Catholic Diocese will pay $15 million and declare bankruptcy to keep your identity secret.
But if you are a grown woman employed by the Diocese who becomes pregnant after having consensual sex with another adult and you decide to have a baby before or whether you are married, you are immediately fired.
@TheMT_Cowgirl interesting q. Prob not fair to compare Butte principal to other ldrs in church. However- seems grace could’ve applied here.
— Aaron Flint (@aaronflint) February 5, 2014
@aaronflint Would the church have fired an unwed male teacher that was expecting a child? Maybe IF they found out. #VoicesofMontana
— Haylie Shipp (@HaylieShipp) February 5, 2014
The Montana Standard has more: (via TheMissoulian.com)
The firing drew criticism from some Butte Catholics who said the move was in conflict with the message of Pope Francis. Last month, the pontiff baptized the child of unwed parents inside the Sistine Chapel. And in September, Francis called an unmarried Italian woman who’d chosen not to have an abortion and offered to baptize the baby himself.
I did hear phone calls on our statewide radio show this morning from some folks who support the decision, including a woman named Elizabeth in Bozeman. She basically said, imagine if Catholics started acting like Catholics and upholding standards for a chance.
The critics, though, have now taken to Twitter:
Butte Central is becoming famous 😳 #JusticeForShaela pic.twitter.com/bxrKH8UuaJ
— Aleesha LaBreche (@AleeshaLaBreche) February 5, 2014
Disgusted to see the treatment of my longtime friend. Great teacher, even better person. http://t.co/k1KV9lqJVF #JusticeforShaela
— Ryan Divish (@RyanDivish) February 5, 2014
Hey @Pontifex, you seem like a decent guy. Will you please fire @PatrickHaggarty? #JusticeForShaela
— Bill Foley (@Foles74) February 4, 2014
Ms. E, you were a great teacher. You were always so understanding. I hope you win this case. #JusticeForShaela
— Kiana Blythe (@kiana_blythe) February 5, 2014
Mel in Whitehall
Tuesday, March 04, 2014 11:41 AM
Right on, GR…
Seems an “adult” signed a binding work contract with a legal entity.
Then, upon passage of time, this adult decided to intentionally violate the same contract terms.
Actions always have “results”, in this case it seems to have been pre-agreed to between both parties at/upon signing.
As this is a “contract law” issue, and NOT some Bible related matter, I say power to the/this Church, in this case.
And, NO, I am not a member of this, or any, Church per se.