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Patricia Jannuzzi Wins!

This is great news:

Patricia Jannuzzi, the veteran Immaculata High School teacher suspended for her anti-gay Facebook posts, will be reinstated immediately, school principal Jean Kline said in a letter dated Friday.

Jannuzzi, a 33-year theology teacher at Immaculata, was forced by Immaculata to deactivate her Facebook page after several alumni started circulating screen shots of her sharply worded posts against gay marriage and gay rights. Two days later, the school placed her on administrative leave.

The letter to students and parents, quoting school director Msgr. Seamus Brennan states in part:

Immaculata High School has reached an understanding with Mrs. Patricia Jannuzzi. It is the School’s position that a Catholic school teacher must always communicate the faith in a way that is positive and never hurtful. Tone and choice of words matter and I trust Mrs. Jannuzzi’s stated promise to strive always to teach in a spirit of truth and charity.Given Mrs. Jannuzzi’s otherwise good reputation as an educator over her 30 years at Immaculata, Principal Jean Kline and I have made the decision to reinstate her as a teacher as of today.

From the beginning this was a personnel and not a theological issue. We are now and always have been united in our understanding and commitment to the teachings of the Catholic Church. By agreement with all parties involved, there will be no further comment on the issue.

Read the whole thing. I appreciate that this news story points out that the Diocese of Metuchen initially lied about all of this to the public. And:

Oakley [Jannuzzi’s lawyer] said he was later told in a phone conversation with diocesan lawyers that she would be terminated at the end of her contract.

“At every point in our discussions the diocesan lawyers told us repeatedly there was no way that Patricia Jannuzzi would ever come back to the Immaculata classroom under any possible scenario,” he said.

Ha! We will never know what went on behind the scenes to force the diocese to do an about-face without Jannuzzi even having to apologize, but I bet there’s a great story there. I do hope, though, that she continues to teach actual Catholicism, but that she does so without being so shrill. That said, this is a surprising outcome. One is not used to the orthodox side in these disputes winning.

(Thanks to the reader who sent in the link.)

about the author

Rod Dreher is a senior editor at The American Conservative. He has written and edited for the New York Post, The Dallas Morning News, National Review, the South Florida Sun-Sentinel, the Washington Times, and the Baton Rouge Advocate. Rod’s commentary has been published in The Wall Street Journal, Commentary, the Weekly Standard, Beliefnet, and Real Simple, among other publications, and he has appeared on NPR, ABC News, CNN, Fox News, MSNBC, and the BBC. He lives in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, with his wife Julie and their three children. He has also written four books, The Little Way of Ruthie Leming, Crunchy Cons, How Dante Can Save Your Life, and The Benedict Option.

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