Dear Cathedral Family,
On behalf of Cathedral’s Board of Directors, we write to you about an agonizing decision, made after 22 months of earnest discussion and extensive dialogue with the Archdiocese of Indianapolis about Cathedral’s continued Catholic identity.
Cathedral’s Catholic identity
Cathedral was founded as a Catholic high school in 1918 by Bishop Joseph Chartrand. The Archdiocese of Indianapolis owned Cathedral but engaged The Brothers of Holy Cross to serve as faculty. Eventually, the archdiocese turned over care of Cathedral to the Holy Cross brothers who ran it as a Catholic school for a number of years. In 1972 Cathedral was incorporated for the sole purpose of maintaining and operating a Roman Catholic secondary school. When Cathedral re-affiliated with The Brothers of Holy Cross, the Board of Directors amended the bylaws to state that the essential Holy Cross character of Cathedral as a Catholic high school shall be at all times maintained and that a mission priority is to be an educator in the faith.
What is at stake?
It is Archbishop Thompson’s responsibility to oversee faith and morals as related to Catholic identity within the Archdiocese of Indianapolis. Archbishop Thompson made it clear that Cathedral’s continued employment of a teacher in a public, same-sex marriage would result in our forfeiting our Catholic identity due to our employment of an individual living in contradiction to Catholic teaching on marriage. If this were to happen, Cathedral would lose the ability to celebrate the Sacraments as we have in the past 100 years with our students and community. Additionally, we would lose the privilege of reserving the Blessed Sacrament in our chapel’s tabernacle, we could no longer refer to Cathedral as a Catholic school, our diocesan priests would no longer be permitted to serve on our Board of Directors, and we would lose our affiliation with The Brothers of Holy Cross. Furthermore, Cathedral would lose its 501(c)(3) status thus rendering Cathedral unable to operate as a nonprofit school.
Cathedral has been a Catholic school for the past 100 years and our Catholic faith is at the core of who we are and what we teach at Cathedral. We are committed to educating our students in the tenets of the Catholic faith with an emphasis on the Holy Cross tradition. For every Catholic, the celebration of the Sacraments is central to the life of faith. Similarly, as a Catholic community, the celebration of the Sacraments is essential for Cathedral. Therefore, in order to remain a Catholic Holy Cross School, Cathedral must follow the direct guidance given to us by Archbishop Thompson and separate from the teacher.
Why is our situation different from Brebeuf?
We respect the position of our brothers and sisters at Brebeuf Jesuit Preparatory School as they also navigate this painful time. Brebeuf is sponsored by the Jesuits while Cathedral is merely affiliated with The Brothers of Holy Cross. Because Brebeuf is a specific ministry of the Jesuits, their canonical and nonprofit status is different than ours. Therefore, the two schools cannot function the same way if Cathedral were to receive a similar decree as Brebeuf.
Our commitment to the Cathedral family
In today’s climate we know that being Catholic can be challenging and we hope that this action does not dishearten you, and, most especially, dishearten Cathedral’s young people. We know that some individuals do not agree with every teaching of the Catholic Church and so their conscience struggles between the teaching and what they believe is right. We want you to know that we respect an individual's conflict between teaching and their conscience. We will continue to educate and root our students in the fullness of the Catholic faith with an emphasis on the Holy Cross tradition.
Please know that we offer our prayers and love to this teacher, our students and faculty, our Archbishop, and all associated with Cathedral as we continue to educate our students in the Catholic Holy Cross tradition. We ask that dialogue about this difficult situation be respectful of the dignity of every person and that you continue to pray for our Cathedral family and the wider Indianapolis community.
In the words of Blessed Basil Moreau, founder of The Congregation of Holy Cross: “Hurry then; take up the work of resurrection, never forgetting that the special end of your institute is, before all, to sanctify youth. It is by this that you will contribute to preparing the world for better times than ours.”
Yours in Christ,
Chairman of the Board of Directors