May 29, 2014 | by Staff reports
Fired teachers request papal audience
Pope Francis, Catholic Church, gay news, Washington Blade

Pope Francis (Photo by Agência Brasil; courtesy Wikimedia Commons)

WASHINGTON — The Human Rights Campaign on May 27 delivered a letter to the Vatican on behalf of nine teachers who have lost their jobs at Roman Catholic schools or churches because they are gay or lesbian or have supported LGBT family members.

Nicholas Coppola, a former religious education teacher at St. Anthony’s Catholic Church in Oceanside, N.Y., who was removed from public duties at the Long Island parish after he married his same-sex partner, is among those who signed the letter that requests an audience with Pope Francis.

“Unfortunately, we are a group bonded together not just by Catholic values,” reads the letter. “We are a group of teachers, administrators and lay people who have all lost our jobs simply because of who we love.”

LGBT Catholics have welcomed Francis’ more moderate tone on marriage, homosexuality and other gay-specific issues since he succeeded Pope Benedict XVI in March 2013. The Vatican’s position on the aforementioned topics has not changed in spite of the Argentine-born pontiff’s more conciliatory tone.

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