An openly gay priest has been fired from teaching at a Catholic university in Philadelphia because he has been in a relationship with a man for the past 15 years.
Father James St George says that Chestnut Hill College always knew that he was gay, but the university says it was unaware of his sexuality.
He told Fox 29 news that the university dismissed him in writing and refused to take his calls or respond to his emails.
His dismissal coincides with a letter sent by a local lawyer, James Pepper, to the archdiocese that said Father St George was gay and described him as a “heretic”.
Father St George said: “The college has known I was gay from day one.”
College president Sister Carol Jean Vale said on Sunday: “It was with great disappointment when we learned through St George’s public statements of his involvement in a gay relationship with another man for the past 15 years.
“It is expected that all members of our college community… respect and uphold our Roman Catholic mission, character and values both in the classroom and in public statements that identify them with our school. For this reason, we chose not to offer an additional teaching contract to St George.”
In response to the college’s statement, Father St George told Fox 29: “To openly admit hatred and anti-gay bias is deplorable, and I continue to be very sad that such hatred exists.”
He is considering legal action against Chestnut Hill College.
One of his students, Jessica Murray, said the priest does not speak about his sexuality in class.
“It’s never even come up. In fact, most of the students that I’ve spoken to did not know and when they found out they didn’t care,” she said.