Amy blogs about a legal case in the Diocese of Fargo about a diocesan secretary suing for wrongful dismissal because she was cohabitating. She says there’s a gender-based double standard because priests abusing young men were not removed from their posts. I could see the diocese coming up with several good arguments, including that it was wrong to keep them in their offices and a violation of the diocese’s mission and that the policy is now different. Instead, the diocese argues that she can’t even bring up the priests because they were not employees, but independent contractors.
Apart from bemusement at why the diocese is missing the obvious legal argument, I’m reminded at what several priests here in Boston have told me about how the archdiocese treats them. They’re independent contractors when that benefits the archdiocese and employees when that’s better, especially in matters related to taxes and the IRS. When it comes to money, too many bishops and other Church leaders act no better than their secular counterparts, or at least they their finance guys act that way.