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Archdiocese flooded with support for former Eastside Catholic administrator

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EASTSIDECATHOLICSEATTLE — The controversial firing of a popular Eastside Catholic vice principal and swim coach is still reverberating in the Seattle community. Now, supporters are petitioning to the Archdiocese, demanding he get his job back.

A petition supporting Mark Zmuda has nearly 20,000 signatures, and will be delivered to Archbishop J. Peter Sartain on Wednesday. The petition was organized by Faithful America, a nationwide online community of Christians committed to creating an accepting workplace for gay teachers.

“Please listen to the students at Eastside Catholic and reinstate their vice principal. If Pope Francis says he won’t judge gays and lesbians, you shouldn’t be firing them,” the petition states.

Zmuda was fired from his job after he revealed that he married his longtime partner. This led to protest and outrage among local Catholic students, who walked out of class in protest.

People are also uniting over social media, using the hashtag #KeepMrZ2013. There are also Facebook and Twitter accounts in support of “Mr. Z.”

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  • Mary Crosbie

    This is utterly ridiculous. This is a church affiliated school and church standing should be allowed to rule. The bible teaches that homosexuality is wrong and the Catholic church abides by that. If you don’t like what the Catholic (or any other christian organization) teaches, don’t enroll your child in a religious-based school. Attend public school where religion had no standing.

    • Ken

      What is utterly ridiculous is that people don't question the doctrine. Homosexuality is a sin? Really? Why would you buy that? If Mark Z were your son or your brother would you really be puffing out your chest? He's just a regular guy (person), like you and me. (but you went in his bedroom and saw something you didn't like?) He was doing amazing work, making a difference in the world. And in the name of God he and his family get kicked out on the street? This is the religion that says all are welcome at the table. Unless you're gay? You're okay with that just because "the catholic church abides by that?"

      • lgraas

        This isn't "questioning." It's protesting. There's a big difference between questioning and protesting. Further, they're demanding that the Church change the doctrine. Head, meet wall.

  • joe

    Next they will demand the church to change it's stance on abortion, claim for it to be Holy and Good and merciful to unwanted babies that they're better off dead.

  • Ken

    The perversion is snooping in other people's bedrooms to see if Jesus would approve.

    The church might have some credibility if it changed its core values, yes.

      • Ken

        Exactly, as heterosexuals are free to do. What's the difference? It can bother you, sure, but why must anyone insist they are not entitled to everything you are entitled to?

        • William

          Heterosexuals who want to publically take a stance in favor of contraception, or of having a mistress, or against other doctrinal teachings of the Church should also not be in a position of teaching the students who attend a Catholic school in order to get a Catholic education. If the school teaches that Marriage is a Sacrament between a man and a woman, and an administrator comes out and says "I don't believe that, nor do I live that" by making public his commitment through a social contract for an active relationship outside of true marriage, then he has no place holding that position at the Catholic school. This sets up a confusing situation for the students and undercuts the primary purpose of the institution, which is to provide a Catholic education.

  • Ken

    The doctrine is faulty, and causes great harm to many. Do you think a homosexual man wrote the abomination and perversion nonsense about homosexuality? Of course not. People are born gay. What this doctrine tells a person is that they were born as an abomination. How ridiculous is that? They are to deny their sexuality because some heterosexual men said so? Homosexuality is a minority population. It's different than heterosexuality. That's it, no better, no worse. It harms nobody. There is nothing about it that is immoral. For the church to cultivate this class system based on sexual orientation gives the flock permission "from God" to treat a segment of society in such a way that they would never want to be treated. A man is doing a phenomenal job and the catholic church kicks him and his family out into the street? I'm not arguing about the contract or the rights of the school/archdiocese. It's the doctrine itself. It's makes no sense.

    • William

      The administrator was not fired for being gay. He was fired for supporting a position of a sexual relationship outside of the Sacrament of Marriage. You may not believe in the Sacrament or the Church's position, but that is the position. When I send my child to Catholic school for a Catholic education, I have the expectation to have teachers and administrators support, and not undermine, Catholic teaching.

      Our society is far too-over sexualized. Your insistence that the Church is supposed to change its definition of what is marriage, and what is not, in violation of what we understand to be the truth, is both hateful and a bullying tactic. I have the right to give my children a Catholic education.

      And, I should point out, the man was not doing a phenomenal job. He himself admits he was encouraging children, who he has a position of authority over, to question teachings of the Church; to challenge the doctrine in some misguided hope of changing it. This is not a phenomenal job. This goes against his mandate as a Catholic school administrator and his decision to get "married" to another man goes against his contract for employment.

  • Ken

    William, with all due respect, I am not insisting that the church change anything. I know they are free to believe whatever they wish, as are you. I just happen to think they are very wrong on homosexuality. It makes no sense to me. It contradicts all of the beautiful things we credit Jesus with teaching. It's very hypocritical.

    I have many friends who are gay and I love them dearly. They are not defective, or immoral because of their sexual orientation. They're just regular 'ol people.

    The tide is turning, thankfully. These kids get it. Homosexuality is no big deal. And I don't think you're going to find a catholic high school that teaches homosexuality is a sin. It's just outright cruelty. You can't look at a high school kid struggling with this issue and tell them that there is something wrong with them in the eyes of God.

  • lgraas

    A petition from "Faithful America" is a usual thing. Many bishops have received them. They go out to the group's nationwide email list. The Seattle Times reported that most of their reader mail shows support for the school's religious freedom. Further, no matter how many people sign the petition, it remains that the Catholic Church defends the Gospel regardless of how many people don't like it. Remember, Jesus was crucified by a majority.