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College Defensive Over Gay Firing

College Defensive Over Gay Firing


Officials at Philadelphia's Chestnut Hill College are defending the school against criticism in the wake of the dismissal of a gay professor, The Philadelphia Inquirer reports.

The Roman Catholic college last month fired the Reverend James St. George (pictured), a priest in a separate Catholic denomination not tied to the Vatican, from his job as an adjunct professor of world religion. College officials said statements he made about being gay went against Roman Catholic teaching; he said the firing reflected antigay bias.

The college issued a statement Friday saying the situation had been "sensationalized and distorted" in media reports and public comments, causing distress to gay people associated with the school. "We ache for the negative impact this story is having on them," said Sister Carol Jean Vale, the college president. She also said, however, that the college could have better handled the matter and is reviewing its policies.

Attorneys for St. George and Chestnut Hill are involved in negotiations on which neither would comment to the Inquirer. Meanwhile, student support for St. George is strong, with more than 100 having signed on to a Facebook page backing him and a rally planned for March 12.

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