Defending the family

Woman removed from Catholic Parish after publicizing her marriage

The Coordinator of Social Ministries at the Jesuit-run St. Francis Xavier Catholic Parish in the Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph has been removed from her duties after she revealed publicly in an interview with a local magazine that she had "married" her lover.

Colleen Simon - a lapsed Catholic and divorced mother of two adult children who now embraces the faith of her same-sex partner, Lutheran pastor Donna Simon - was asked to resign last week after 816 Magazine ran a profile of local community leaders which stated Colleen and Donna had been legally "married" in Iowa in 2012. That is a clear violation of Catholic moral teaching, which says marriage is a sacred union between one man and one woman.

Colleen claims the previous pastor at St. Francis Xavier knew she was in a same-sex "marriage" when he hired her last year (he has since been replaced). She said she spoke openly about her "spouse" and her "beloved," but tried to avoid referring to Donna - who flies a rainbow flag outside her St. Mark Hope and Peace Lutheran Church - as her "wife."

After her "marriage" to Donna Simon, however, she changed her name, relocated to Kansas City and took a job as a secretary at St. James Catholic Church before finally moving on to St. Francis Xavier.

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