Skip to comments.Catholic School Teacher Fired for Having In Vitro
Posted on 05/12/2006 6:56:49 AM PDT by NYer
May 11, 2006 - After five years trying to conceive, Kelly and Eric Romenesko decided to try in vitro fertilization.
Their twins, Alexandria and Allison, were born last year. It was a joyous event in the couple's life.
"They're miracles. They're precious," Kelly Romenesko said.
The couple were not prepared for what came next. When Kelly, a teacher at two Catholic schools in Wisconsin, told her bosses she had gotten pregnant through in vitro, they handed her a pink slip.
"I was in tears," she said. "I remember asking, 'Is this the only reason why I'm being fired?' They stated, 'Yes.'"
The schools say Romenesko agreed to follow church teachings when she was hired. One of those teachings was that the in vitro technique was morally wrong because it replaced natural conception.
"I did not know what the Catholic doctrine stated against in vitro fertilization. Yes, I signed a contract, but the contract was vague in my opinion. I didn't know what I was doing as far as in vitro goes that that went against doctrine. My understanding was it was the Ten Commandments."
People like Joseph Capizzi of the Culture of Life Foundation said that in vitro fertilization ran counter to Catholic teachings, which stress that a child should be conceived through sex between a husband and wife.
"It's not so much that it's artificial that's the problem, instead it's removing the sexual act and procreative act from the context of marriage," he said.
The church also takes issue with in vitro because embryos are sometimes destroyed, but Romenesko said there were other teachers who had in vitro in the school. She said she did not go public with her announcement but "stated it to a principal behind closed doors that we were going through this process."
Romenesko appealed to the school board, but it would not reinstate her. Now a state agency is looking into the case. Meanwhile, the Romeneskos have stopped practicing Catholicism.
"I think the issue here is the fact that Kelly was released from her job for being pregnant, not the in vitro fertilization itself," Eric said. "Our daughters have been baptized Lutheran at this point in time. Kelly and I haven't converted yet."
"It wouldn't change my ability to teach in any way," she said. "It's a shame. This shouldn't have happened."
DONUM VITAE Vatican document - Instruction on Respect for Human Life in Its Origin and on the Dignity of Procreation.
just wondering how many years she took birth control pills.
We've seen several stories like this lately, including the single female teacher who was fired for getting pregnant and having the baby. It's interesting that Catholic educators don't seem to know Catholic doctrine. I'm not Catholic, and even *I* know the Catholic church doesn't approve of IVF; how could she have missed it?
This is what comes to mind:
"My religion is so important to me that (a) I had no idea about one of its most controverisal but definitive doctrines, and (b) when I discovered that I had inadvertantly violated that doctrine I decided it was best to leave the Church."
What are the going to teach??? Pocahontas was really an Indian boy? How Ru Paul broke sterotypes? The importance of Mr. Brady.
And I bet she was offered an alternative, but instead she got so indignant that anyone dare question the morality of her decision that she losther job over the issue.
and took them without knowing that doing so was considered objectively immoral
You'd think that the "bosses" would be happy to have a new member for the collection plate. Note to the teacher: Don't tell anyone at work about your procreation habits.
The pill tends to age the reproductive system. Women take the pill for a few years and then have a lot of difficulty getting pregnant when they want to (which is immediately). She's 37 but looks a few years older than that. Just assuming that since she didn't know church teaching she probably has been on the pill most of her adult life.
The level of knowledge of the majority of Catholic laity would have to rise to reach the level of abysmal. And that's a commentary on the level of teaching and preaching.
So let me get this straight, she didn't know Catholic doctrine but asked for and got a job teaching in a Catholic school so should there be a test, a Catechism test? YES And, having been fired for violating Church doctrine, she up and dumps her faith? Guess it wasn't that important to her. A humble and contrite heart with Confession would be good... and then, having been forgiven, she and her husband devote themselves to raising their children.
Because --strange as it may seem--no priest ever said from the pulpit that IVF is against church teaching. There is a whole generation of priests who are in dissent from Catholic sexual teachings but who sin largely in omission. You think the CIA is ""diss"functional, consider the Catholic priesthood. Seldom do we hear "hard teachings." that cut to the core. You can see here an example of what they fear. Don't make them choose. Tell them the truth and and they cannot bear it.
Sometime in the future
Kelly and Eric Romenesko conceive twins. Their two 6 year old boys were attending religious school and giving the teachers problems. The teachers had tried everything to make them behave - time outs, notes home, missed recesses - but could do nothing with them. Finally the boys were sent to see the priest.
The first boy went in and sat in a chair across the desk from the priest. The priest asked, "Do you know where God is?" The little boy just sat there.
The priest stood up and asked again, "Son, do you know where God is?" The little boy trembled but said nothing.
The priest leaned across the desk and again asked, "Do you know where God is?"
The little boy bolted out of the chair ran past his twin brother in the waiting room, all the way home. He got in bed and pulled the covers up over his head. His brother had followed him home asked, "what happened in there?"
The boy replied, "God is missing and they think we did it!"
I thought that the newer in vitro techniques were possible to effect without killing embryos?
If so, what is the problem?
Exactly so. You ask the laity what it means to follow "Catholic teaching," and chances are real good that it means (a) don't have an abortion and (b) be nice to other people. End of story.
This article hits home because we have teenage twins in our parish who were conceived in a petri dish. I know this because their story was featured in a big article in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution written to promote in-vitro fertilization. Not a word in the story about the Church's opposition to the whole business. I wonder if the parents even know.
In vitro: I wonder how many babies were sacrified in the petrie dish to produce those twins???
"I think out "teachers and pastors" bear some of the blame for this. Has anybody ever, EVER heard a substantive sermon on Catholic sexual ethics? Even in passing? I figure I've got to about 5,000 Masses in my lifetime. I've heard NOTHING about John Paul II's magnificent "Theology of the Body," about 3 sermons which even mentioned abortion in passing (like a sentence or two: no real development or in-depth explanation), zero mention of contraception, and of course zero mention of IVF."
I have heard a few sermons mentioning abortion. I have heard NONE about in vitro.
Many embryos die in the in vitro process. Several are implanted with the understanding that some of them will not "take". Others are frozen and stored in case none of the embryos implant properly.
I know a couple who lost one embryo in the process and now they have more on ice. Since they don't intend to have more children - what is to become of the frozen embryos?
People think their right to have children supercedes the embryos' right to be born.
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