HARRISBURG – There has been a court response from the Catholic church’s Harrisburg Diocese and from the individual defendants in a breach of contract lawsuit. The suit was filed by fired Lourdes Regional high school teacher Naiad Reich. The church officials continue to say intentionally conceiving a child out of wedlock and refusing to marry constitutes immorality and rejection of church doctrine.
According to PennLive.com, church officials claim for the court to reinstate Reich would abridge the rights of church entities and officials. The Diocese and its individual defendants, Bishop Ronald Gainer, and Principal Sister Mary Anne Bednar, say it would be also unconstitutional.
The PennLive.com report also says the defendants say they were unaware of any cohabitation until Reich told Bednar, and deny saying her pregnancy was going to be “a huge problem.” The defendants also confirm Reich was given the opportunity to resign from her position. They also say Reich did not have tenure.
Reich also claims her firing did not follow Diocese policy because the school’s Board of Education was not consulted. But the Diocese says Sister Bednar did discuss the proposed termination with board chair, Rev. Andrew Stahmer, before the formal termination letter was sent December 4. Board member Tony Varano says the non-clergy board members continue their support for Reich.