The Benedictine monks of St. Procopius Abbey have severed ties with a Catholic academy months after the school hired an out lesbian lacrosse coach.
In a letter released jointly with Benet Academy leaders, Abbot Austin G. Murphy announced that “Events in recent months have been an occasion for the Benedictine monks of St. Procopius Abbey to further examine their future relationship with Benet Academy,” adding, “After much deliberation, the monks as a community have discerned that they no longer have the resources needed for governance and oversight at the Academy.”
The letter went on to say that the abbey will “continue its role in the governance of the high school” while alternative paths for governance are explored. “The goal is that Benet Academy will continue to operate with an emphasis on academic excellence and Catholic identity within the Benedictine tradition.”
In September, Benet Academy, in the Chicago suburb, Lisle, hired alumna Amanda Kammes as head coach of the girls’ lacrosse team. Then her offer was deferred after the school learned she was an out lesbian, and married to a woman.
After alumni and students rallied to support Kammes, she was again offered the position later that month.
Although the letter released Tuesday made no mention of Kammes or the particulars of the situation, Murphy had previously voiced concern over her re-hiring.
“The matter raises the question of what a Catholic high school should require from those who work with and form its students. In particular, is it necessary that the witness of their public lives not be in opposition to Catholic moral teaching?” he wrote following the incident, as reported by a local news affiliate CBS Chicago.
“I believe this requirement is necessary and, therefore am deeply troubled by the school’s decision which calls into question its adherence to the doctrines of the Catholic faith,” he added. “In turn, I want to let everyone know that I am taking this matter to prayer and discerning how to proceed.”