January 12, 2005

Diocese worker fired over marriage

East Valley Tribune

By Lawn Griffiths, Tribune

A marriage ceremony over the holidays, performed outside of the Catholic Church and without a priest, violated church law and has led to the firing of the diocese’s Child and Youth Protection Advocate — the person responsible for ensuring sexual misconduct by church personnel doesn’t occur again in the diocese.

Jenny O’Connor, 47, said she was dismissed Saturday after acknowledging to the Rev. Fred Adamson, a vicargeneral, that she and her boyfriend married without the sanctity of a Catholic wedding because he is dying from cancer and they did not believe there was time to plan for and hold a church wedding.

"They asked me to come in and just asked me why I got married, and I told them," O’Connor said Tuesday from her Tempe home. "They said it was outside the boundaries of being a good Catholic, and I explained all the reasons why."

"They didn’t seem to think that any of that is important, and that was it," O’Connor said. She said she was first asked to resign, but when she declined, she was terminated.

While the Roman Catholic Diocese of Phoenix’s judicial vicar, the Rev. Tim Davern, said he could not directly comment on a personnel matter, he said that a person with comparable circumstances should discuss the matter with one’s parish priest.

Posted by kshaw at January 12, 2005 08:09 AM