Some 50 monks at the St. Procopius monastery announced Tuesday that they would cut ties with an Illinois Catholic high school months after the school hired a lesbian lacrosse coach.
The monks, whose order founded Benet Academy in Lisle, Ill. more than 120 years ago, say they are now unable to govern the school.
In a statement, local TV station WBBM reports, Abbot Austin Murphy of St. Procopius Abbey said, “Events in recent months have been an occasion for the Benedictine monks of St. Procopius Abbey to examine their future relationship with Benet Academy. After much deliberation, the monks as a community have discerned that they no longer have the resources needed for the governance and oversight of the Academy.”
The Benedictine monks’ announcement comes four months after Benet Academy decided to offer Amanda Kammes a job as the next head girls’ lacrosse coach, according to WBBM. She accepted the school’s offer.
However, the school had deferred her employment after learning Kammes is married to a woman.
More than 2,000 students, alumni, faculty members, and community members had signed a petition demanding Benet to reconsider and hire Kammes, according to the outlet. Those who signed the petition said her track record as a coach should be the main focus of her hiring, not her wife. The board of directors eventually decided to allow Kammes to be hired.
At the time, Murphy said he was “troubled” by Kammes’ hiring.
“The matter raises the question of what a Catholic high school should require from those who work with and form its students. In particular, is it necessary that the witness of their public lives not be in opposition to Catholic moral teaching?” he said in a statement, according to the station. “I believe this requirement is necessary and, therefore am deeply troubled by the school’s decision which calls into question its adherence to the doctrines of the Catholic faith.”
Though the school hired an out coach, the school still retains anti-LGBTQ+ regulations, reports PinkNews.
The school’s recent guidebook states, “Sexual acts belong in marriage, which is seen as a life-long indissoluble union of a man and a woman, and, thus, students are taught to abstain from sexual acts before marriage and to cultivate the virtue of chastity.”
Benet forces students to adhere to dress codes that fit their gender assigned at birth. Same-sex couples are also banned from school events.