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Catholic minister fired for ‘liking’ friend’s gay marriage post

Ella Braidwood October 1, 2018

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.

Kozak believes his diocese discriminated against him. (Keith Ignatius Kozak/Facebook)

“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.

Kozak spoke out about the incident on Facebook. (Keith Ignatius Kozak/Facebook)

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.

More: Catholic, Keith Kozak, minister, US

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