Father John Drees heads the congregations of both the St Joseph and St Francis Xavier churches, a position he took last year. Upon his discovery of the same-sex married men, all three were swiftly let go.
Bob Bernard and Travis Loeffler were relieved of their musical duties at St Joseph, as well as Loeffler’s husband Dominic Mitchell, who held a voluntary position at St Francis Xavier.
Bernard did not seem surprised by the decision:
“We understand what the church’s teachings are on marriage at the same time I’m the happiest I’ve ever been.”
Father Drees insisted the firings were not due to the men's sexuality:
He said: “I can assure you that we do not change employees’, vendors’ or volunteers’ statuses because they are gay.”
The move did not bar the men from attending the church, and they reportedly have the support of the congregation.
Despite his termination after 15 years with the church, Bernard was firm with his support for the church and insisted that he had no plans to leave.
He said: “We didn’t want this to turn out to be another ‘bash the Catholic Church’ story, and we’re emphatic about that.”