Monday, March 10, 2003

Bad week for Catholic high school religion teachers:

Arizona religion teacher fired for handing out Valentines that said "I hate you. I wish you would die."

Pennsylvania religion teacher and married deacon jumps to his death after running of with a 15-year old girl

Thomas Lemmon, a 37-year-old married man with two teenagers of his own, fled from his school and his family shortly after presiding over Ash Wednesday Mass this week. He had been confronted by school authorities that day with concerns about his relationship with a 15-year-old girl he had been counselling through her parents' divorce.

Again, with the Catholicism 101 for the reporter - a deacon would be presiding over a prayer service, not a Mass.

A minor point, though, in a very sad situation, made a bit sadder by the school's assistant principal's lingo of choice:

"It's difficult because the deacon had all of our trust. He obviously made some mistakes," said Ken Salem, the school's assistant principal. "We have to explain to students that just because representatives of the Church made a mistake doesn't mean they should lose faith in the Church."

Let's hope the kids learn that this was a bit more than a "mistake."

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