Artificial insemination is incompatible with immaculate conception it seems. Christa Dias, a technology coordinator at two Cincinnati Catholic schools, was fired from her job after telling her employer that she was pregnant. Initially, the school wanted to fire her for being single and pregnant. However, that is against state and federal anti-discrimination laws, so they decided to fire her for using artificial insemination, a “grave immoral” act that goes against Catholic teachings.
Dias hasn’t found a new job since being fired from the school in October 2010 and she is planning to sue the school for pregnancy discrimination and breach of contract. The school, however, feels it is in the right. Dan Andriacco, the spokesperson for the Archdiocese of Cincinnati told Cincinnati.com that Dias “has a right to her opinion, but doesn’t have a right to violate her (employment) contract.” That contract stipulates that she has to comply with Catholic teachings, which includes not using artificial insemination.
According to CatholicCulture.org, “the Catholic Church teaches that among humans artificial insemination constitutes such a violation of the dignity of the person and the sanctity of marriage as to be contrary to the natural and divine law.” The explanation goes on to describe artificial insemination as a form of adultery and to condemn the irresponsibility of donors fathering children for whom they will not be responsible. Finally, it explains that:
Even if insemination could be artificially achieved with the husband’s semen properly collected (without masturbation) the papal teaching still points out that any process that isolates the sacred act of human generation from the beautiful and intimate conjugal union of the marriage act itself is inconsistent with the holiness and intimate personalism of that two-in-one-flesh union which alone is appropriate for the generation of a child.
Interestingly, however, if a male employee at the school participated in artificial insemination (thereby irresponsibly fathering children), he would not necessarily be held to the same standard as Dias because it could go undetected. Women who go against “Catholic teachings” are unfairly punished in this regard because their pregnancy is a visible sign. This is a key argument in Dias’ lawsuit.
Rev. James Kiffmeyer, the administrator who fired Dias, has run into some problems with “Catholic teachings” himself. According to Jezebel:
Rev. James Kiffermeyer, was himself suspended in 2002 after allegations arose that he engaged in sexual misconduct with two male high school students. He was reinstated in 2006. The archdiocese of Cincinnati hasn’t escaped the sex scandal that’s engulfed the Catholic Church over the last decade or so, either; in 2003, the archdiocese pled no contest to charges they ignored sexual abuse of boys by clergy in the 1980′s and 90′s. And the two priests alleged to have engaged in the abuse were suspended like Kiffermeyer, not fired as Dias was fired.
A Catholic male official is simply suspended over sexual abuse allegations, but a female teacher is fired for artificial insemination. The Catholic Church works in perplexing ways sometimes.
Despite losing her job, Christa Dias doesn’t regret her decision at all. She loves children and always wanted to have a baby. She told Cincinnati.com that “she’s an amazing gift from God. She’s amazing and wonderful. I would do it all over again for her.”
Photo credit: millicent bystander on flickr