Catholic minister fired for ‘liking’ friend’s gay marriage post
A former Catholic minister from Cleveland has said his contract was terminated because he ‘liked’ a photo from a friend’s same-sex wedding on Facebook.
Keith Kozak, who was an outreach minister, also said that he was questioned by the Catholic Diocese of Cleveland after he posted a number of photos on Facebook from the reception of another gay wedding he attended.
The 39-year old, who is gay, but had not previously told his diocese about his sexuality, said he was called into a meeting with his supervisor and a member of staff from human resources over his recent social media activity.
“They sat me down and they said we had seen some things on Facebook and Twitter and that would like to talk to you about that,” he told News 5 Cleveland.
“It was a quick meeting. The very next day, I received a letter that said I was terminated.”
Kozak added: “The church in Cleveland has just been very discriminatory in my opinion.”
“It’s a wake-up call for me, it’s a wake-up call that I didn’t really realise the Catholic Church would act like this.”
Posting News 5 Cleveland’s story on Facebook, Kozak wrote: “I have always felt supported… by my family and friends… and even my church… until now.”
The Catholic Diocese of Cleveland has reportedly released a statement saying it does not comment on individual cases for employees being fired, but added that it was confident the action taken against Kozak was appropriate.
In September, a Chicago-based Catholic priest was removed from his ministry after he was caught having sex with another male Catholic priest in a car.
Diego Berrio, 39, was caught performing oral sex on Edwin Giraldo Cortes, 30, in a car parked on Ocean Drive on Monday afternoon (September 3) by police.
The pair were charged with lewd and lascivious behaviour, and Cortes was also charged with indecent exposure.
In a statement, Blase J. Cupich, the archbishop of Chicago, said that Derrio had been removed from serving as a pastor at Misión San Juan Diego, a church in the city’s suburbs.