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Vatican office suspends Indy archdiocese's Brebeuf decision

Posted: 2:45 PM, Sep 23, 2019
Updated: 2019-09-23 16:06:48-04
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INDIANAPOLIS — A Vatican office has temporarily suspended the decision of the Archdiocese of Indianapolis to no longer recognize Brebeuf Jesuit Preparatory School as a Catholic institution over the school's refusal to fire a teacher in a same-sex marriage.

The decision of the archdiocese to cut ties with Brebeuf was announced in June in a decree from Archbishop Charles C. Thompson.

The school reached out to the Vatican's Congregation for Catholic Education in Rome to consider "the issues at hand and, hopefully, rescind and permanently set aside the Archbishop's decree."

"We have just learned that the Congregation for Catholic Education has decided to suspend the Archbishop's decree on an interim basis, pending its final resolution of our appeal," school President Father Bill Verbryke wrote in a letter posted to the school's website on Monday. "The Archbishop very kindly informed me that, as a result of this temporary suspension of his decree, Brebeuf is free to resume our normal sacramental celebrations of the Eucharist. Most happily, this means that we will be able to celebrate the Mass for the Feast Day of St. Jean de Brebeuf on October 24."

In the letter Verbryke said the suspension of the order is temporary.

"It does not mean that the matter has been resolved, or that any permanent decision has been made," Verbryke wrote. "It also does not mean that anyone should infer that the Congregation for Catholic Education is leaning one way or the other on any of the issues at hand. The Congregation has simply granted a temporary suspension of the Archbishop's decree until it makes a final decision."

Verbryke said Brebeuf does not have a specific timeline for how long the appeal process will take, but the school is eager to resolve its disagreement with the Archbishop.

"I want to stress that this process is ongoing in an environment of not only deep love for our Church, but also, despite our differences on this matter, deep respect for the Archbishop," Verbryke wrote." Ultimately, our desire is to remain in full communion with the Catholic Church, without restrictions on our celebration of the Eucharist, and that our identity as a Catholic school be fully recognized and supported by the Archdiocese, as had been the case for our first 57 years.