Eastside Catholic President Who Fired Gay Vice Principal Resigns

Sr. Mary Tracy

A month of walk outs, petitions, and intense media attention is creating change at Eastside Catholic High School as the school’s president and CEO announced her resignation abruptly yesterday. In December, Sr. Mary Tracy terminated Vice Principal Mark Zmuda after he married his husband, triggering an ongoing movement for his reinstatement called #KeepMrZ2013. The Seattle Times reports further:

“It comes just days before a planned schoolwide meeting Thursday, during which board members — who have been the target of persistent lobbying by students, alumni and parents — are expected to field parents’ questions…

“Tracy’s statements about whether Zmuda was fired or resigned, and what role the Seattle archbishop played in that decision, at times contradicted those of the school’s attorney and the archdiocese.”

Zmuda also claims that Tracy told him divorcing his husband would allow him to keep his job. Her resignation is seen by Zmuda’s supporters as a sign that Eastside Catholic’s board is now seriously engaging this issue. It is not, however, an end for their movement, which seeks both Zmuda’s reinstatement and reform of the Church’s approach to sexuality issues.

The president’s letter follows the resignation of Eastside Catholic’s board chair earlier this month. This whole situation highlights how widespread the harm is when Catholic schools implement anti-LGBT policies.

You can read Bondings 2.0‘s past coverage of #KeepMrZ2013 below.  We will continue to update this story as it develops.

–Bob Shine, New Ways Ministry

Related Posts:

January 18, 2014: Jesuit Priest Endorses Students ‘Making a Mess’ in Seattle

January 17, 2014: Seattle Archdiocese Responds As Students Keep Fighting Unjust Firing

January 10, 2014: Anti-LGBT Policies Create Vaccines Against Faith in Catholic Schools

January 7, 2014: Love Always Wins: Students Inspire Hope with Their Defense of Fired Gay Teacher

December 20, 2013: Catholic Students Protest Firings in Seattle and Philly; What You Can Do to Help

7 replies
  1. Anton
    Anton says:

    The gospel stories at Mass these past couple days remind us that “the sabbath was made for human beings, not vice versa.” The same is true of rules and regulations and sacraments. Jesus healed the withered hand of a man in today’s gospel despite the fact that is was on the sabbath, and yesterday even acknowledged that David (then, the brigand) and his men could eat the showbreads, meant only for priests, because they were hungry. LGBT people in the church and society are hungry and can take what they require to satisfy their hunger. It would be wonder-FULL if the so-called followers of Jesus were willing to follow his lead rather than that of his critics. At least I believe so.

  2. Terence
    Terence says:

    This is a stunning victory for the students, who took seriously Pope Francis’ advice to them to “make a mess in their dioceses”. We can expect complaints from some quarters that Sr Mary has been forced out of her job simply for attempting to apply Catholic teaching to her work in a Catholic school, but that’s only half true. The bigger picture is that she was attempting to apply only half of Church teaching – the bit that says Catholic institutions may not employ Catholics living openly in contravention of Catechism teaching. However, in doing so, she was ignoring many other parts of teaching. She was on a hiding to nothing, between the rock of adhering to rigid doctrinal statements on sexual ethics, and the hard place of navigating the far more nuanced and compassionate, (but less well-known) elements that are in conflict with them. Full compliance with both sides of a teaching that is riddled with internal contradictions is impossible, and I suspect that Sr Mary was coming to realize this, which may have prompted her voluntary resignation.


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  1. […] in late January. This uprising also witnessed the resignation of both Eastside Catholic’s president and board […]

  2. […] January 22, 2014: Eastside Catholic President Who Fired Gay Vice Principal Resigns […]

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