Statement of the Diocese of Kansas City – St. Joseph On Legal Action Taken by Former Teacher at St. Therese School

A news story today reported on pleadings in a case against the Diocese of Kansas City – St. Joseph and St. Therese Parish filed in 2016 by a former teacher at St. Therese School. The pleadings make outrageous claims, suggesting that a Catholic priest with a decades-long record of opposing abortion somehow encouraged the plaintiff to have an abortion.

The very notion that something like this would happen is patently absurd. Indeed, Father Joseph Cisetti has stated many times, over and over, that he would never encourage a woman to have an abortion in order to keep her job, and that he took that same position in the past when the same circumstances have arisen. Indeed, the plaintiff in this case wrote that the priest told her and the father of the child, from the very beginning that they “made the right choice in keeping the baby.”

The plaintiff in this case was employed at St. Therese from 2000-2015. At the end of the 2015 school year, her contract was not renewed. It was not renewed for reasons that a closer reading of the court file would reveal, but not because she was an unwed mother. We expect that the evidence will show that the concerns leading to this action were not new.

The pleadings by the plaintiff’s attorneys have resulted in the unjust slander of the pastor, who tried to offer her care and support in a difficult situation. The diocese stands by the dedication and commitment of Father Cisetti and the people of St. Therese Parish.

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