Colorado candidate: Catholic Charities fired me over abortion support

Colorado candidate: Catholic Charities fired me over abortion support
Last week, the Fort Collins Coloradoan reported that John Kefalas was no longer the community development and social ministries coordinator (translation: lobbyist) for Catholic Charities North, which is run by the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Denver. "Circumstances surrounding his exit remain murky," the paper reported. "Kefalas would not say whether he had quit or been fired."

The circumstances still remain murky, but not because nobody's talking. Today's Denver Post reports that Kefalas, a Democratic candidate for the Colorado state House, says he was wrongfully terminated and forced to resign. Catholic Charities, however, says he quit on his own.

Murky indeed: Kefalas isn't a Roman Catholic—he's a Mennonite who, as part of a campaign questionnaire, said he supports Roe v. Wade. (Official teaching of the Mennonite Church, by the way, says abortion "runs counter to biblical principles which give a high value to human life" but adds, "the demands of discipleship are to be accepted voluntarily, not imposed legally upon everyone regardless of conviction.")

Catholic Charities president Jim Mauck was none too pleased that his organization's lobbyist doesn't share the church's beliefs on one of its top social issues. In a Monday letter, apparently written after Kefalas and his job were parted, Mauk told him that it's "an irreconcilable conflict of interest for one in the position you held at Catholic Charities to take the public position as you did."

There's no "litmus test" for employees, Mauck told Post reporter Eric Gorski. "We do ask employees, 'Here's our value base, can you agree to ...

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Launched in 1999, Christianity Today’s Weblog was not just one of the first religion-oriented weblogs, but one of the first published by a media organization. (Hence its rather bland title.) Mostly compiled by then-online editor Ted Olsen, Weblog rounded up religion news and opinion pieces from publications around the world. As Christianity Today’s website grew, it launched other blogs. Olsen took on management responsibilities, and the Weblog feature as such was mothballed. But CT’s efforts to round up important news and opinion from around the web continues, especially on our Gleanings feature.
Ted Olsen
Ted Olsen is Christianity Today's editorial director. He wrote the magazine's Weblog—a collection of news and opinion articles from mainstream news sources around the world—from 1999 to 2006. In 2004, the magazine launched Weblog in Print, which looks for unexpected connections and trends in articles appearing in the mainstream press. The column was later renamed "Tidings" and ran until 2007.
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