The president of a prominent Catholic high school in Minnesota has resigned because of his committed same-gender relationship, in a non-adversarial and yet negative moment for Catholic education.
Board members Mark Motzel and Mary Wilcox wrote a letter to the Totino-Grace High School community explaining the resignation of Dr. William Hudson. The former president headed the school for nine years, and was spoken highly of in the letter:
“Bill served the Totino-Grace community well during his nine years at the school. He has an excellent record of accomplishment and provided strong academic and financial stewardship at Totino-Grace during his tenure…We thank Bill for his years of service to our community and wish him well as he explores new professional opportunities.”
Dr. Hudson released a statement expressing optimism in the future, and saying this resignation comes after a period of discernment. KARE 11 reported the statement, which included:
” ‘Though heartbreaking and painful, I must say that it is freeing to be open about the most important thing in my life and to live an authentic life…For over 20 years, I have placed service of the Catholic Church ahead of my family. I am excited to now be able focus on my two children and my partner of 18 years as my first priority…’
” ‘I am profoundly grateful for the opportunity to meet some amazing people, to touch hearts and to have been blessed by so many…’ “
Daily Mail Online reports that Dr. Hudson previously headed up the National Catholic Educational Association’s secondary schools department and has classroom and administrative experience in Catholic schools.
By all accounts, the resignation came as the result of dialogue between Dr. Hudson, who wanted to openly acknowledge his family, and the high school’s board members, who felt adherence to Catholic teaching on same-gender relationships was the priority.Though this case proceeded peacefully, unlike the recent harsh firings of LGBT Catholic school educators like Carla Hale, Christa Dias, Tim Nelson, and Mark Krolikowski, the case still highlights the dilemma that LGBT employees of Catholic institutions face. Even though Dr. Hudson resigned peacefully and is seeking new opportunities, the fact is that he did not feel he could both work in a Catholic setting and remain open about his identity, his partner of 18 years and his two children. No one should be faced with such a choice
Catholic education is a source of pride in the Church, and to remain so will require high-quality educators to teach and administrate. Anti-LGBT policies are instead resulting in the lossof good educators, staff, and students over personal matters unrelated to one’s performance. Perhaps Totino-Grance student, Kathleen Leuty, said it best:
“I recognize that I do go to a Catholic school and it does go against Catholic teachings, but I mean it had absolutely no effect as far as I could see on his job performance so that is a little saddening…”
–Bob Shine, New Ways Ministry