"A group seeking to deliver a petition to Kansas City-St. Joseph, Mo., Bishop Robert Finn on behalf of a fired gay foot pantry coordinator met resistance Wednesday afternoon as they attempted to enter the downtown chancery offices.A group of about 30 people carried a copy of an online petition with more than 32,000 signatures asking that Finn apologize to Colleen Simon -- a woman dismissed from her parish position after her same-sex marriage was inadvertently made public by a local newspaper -- and to give her job back.The group made their way into the first set of doors at the chancery before two security guards for the building blocked them from entering farther.
According to Georgia Walker, organizer of the , the group prayed and sang in the lobby as they waited for a representative from the diocese to receive the petition. After calling several offices, she said a summer intern came to collect the petition. Walker said in an email to that as she left police arrived, reportedly at the diocese’s request, to break up an “unauthorized protest.”
On July 17, Simon against Finn and the Kansas City-St. Joseph diocese. She claimed she was fired because of her same-sex marriage, despite disclosing the relationship to the parish priests, who told her it would not play a factor. Simon is married to the Rev. Donna Simon of St. Mark Hope and Peace Lutheran Church; the couple's marriage was disclosed in a exploring inter-city revitalization efforts.
Colleen Simon worked at St. Francis Xavier Church, a Jesuit parish, from July 2013 until her May dismissal as its director of social ministry (later titled pastoral associate for life and justice). The role primarily had her working in the parish food pantry...."
Bridget Mary's Response:
Newly ordained deacon, Georgia Walker, ARCWP organized this witness of 32,000 signatures in support of justice for Colleen Simon. How sad that Bishop Finn fired Colleen Simon, a faithful, dedicated minister of the Gospel because she was in a same-sex marriage. At heart, this is a justice issue. Thank God for the group who challenged Bishop Robert Finn to reinstate Colleen. Like Jesus who ministered on the margins, so we must too. Bridget Mary Meehan, ARCWP, www.arcwp.org