Missouri Family E-News

April 14, 2015

Catholic Teacher Reinstated After Flap Over Faith

A Catholic high school teacher in New Jersey who spoke out in defense of traditional marriage has been restored to her teaching position.

Officials at Immacolata High School in Somerville have announced that they are continuing the employment contract of 30-year theology teacher Patricia Januzzi.

Januzzi had been suspended and informed that her teaching contract would not be renewed for the coming year.  The high school took the action after Januzzi made comments on her personal Facebook page in opposition to redefining marriage to include same-sex unions.

Januzzi had come to the defense of surgeon Ben Carson, a prominent African-American conservative speaker.  Carson had been viciously attacked by homosexual activists for stating that homosexual conduct is a behavioral choice.

Radical homosexual leader Dan Savage then issued an obscene and disgusting challenge to Carson which is too vile to reprint here.  Januzzi deplored the nasty treatment of a faithful Christian leader.

"We need healthy families with a mother and a father for the sake of the children and humanity," she wrote.

Januzzi was soon the target of an orchestrated hate campaign demanding her removal, which took on national scope with scurrilous comments from liberal actress Susan Sarandon.

Januzzi even came under fire from alumni of Immacolata, who charged that she was a "religious fanatic."  This despite the fact that Januzzi's comments were thoroughly consistent with Catholic moral teaching, a subject on which she is an authority.

"Given Mrs. Januzzi's otherwise good reputation as an educator over her 30 years at Immaculata, I have made the decision to reinstate her as a teacher as of today," wrote Monsignor Seamus Brennan, director of the high school, on April 10th.

High School Principal Jean Kline had previously stated that Januzzi's comments violated the school's philosophy of "inclusion rooted in the teachings of Jesus Christ."  She stated at the time that the school would not "tolerate discrimination of any kind."

Area Bishop Paul Bootkoski accused Januzzi of making "harsh, judgemental, and disturbing statements."  It remains a mystery how a member of the Catholic hierarchy could attack Januzzi for decrying the "harsh" and "disturbing" statements of a malevolent individual like Dan Savage.

The sudden criticism of Januzzi by the school and the diocese did not square with their previous assessment of her service to the school and the Catholic community in Somerville.

The Bishop of Metuchen presented Januzzi with the Regina Nostra medal in 2012 "because of her love and devotion to Imacculata High School."  Januzzi received the award because of her campus ministry and volunteer activities, and her leadership in inspiring students to help the underprivileged.

Januzzi is a recent breast cancer survivor, and her family and friends organized a fundraising effort to support her in her loss of employment.  More than $32,000 had been raised.  Those contributions are now being returned to donors. 


Listen to the Broadcast Version of the Jeff City Update online at 

Springfield Citizens
Vote to Preserve
Freedom of Religion

Residents of Springfield, Missouri, came down on the side of religious freedom in a crucial vote last Tuesday on a municipal ordinance with huge anti-Christian implications.  Voters acted to repeal an ordinance adopted by the Springfield City Council last October which provided special rights to homosexual and "transgendered" individuals.

The repeal proposition, Question 1, was approved by Springfield voters by a narrow margin of 51.4% to 48.6%.  While turnout was stronger than usual for an April municipal election, there were still only 24 percent of Springfield voters who cast ballots on the controversial ordinance.

The ordinance had amended Springfield's "public accommodations" law to prohibit discrimination based on the amorphous concepts of "sexual orientation" and "gender identity."  Similar ordinances on the state and local level have been used across the country to target and prosecute Christian business owners and Christian ministries.

Under such SOGI (sexual orientation/gender identity) laws, florists, bakers, and photographers have been found guilty of discrimination for declining to participate in immoral same-sex union ceremonies.  Christian pastors and Christian churches have also been threatened with prosecution for failing to perform same-sex nuptials and failing to provide church facilities for such ceremonies.

"Christian businessmen all over the country are being sued for not participating in gay 'weddings'," said Calvin Morrow, the leading spokesman for the Yes on Question 1 campaign.  "To serve those types of celebrations violates their consciences...Do we suspend free speech for Christians and use police powers to force compliance?"

The Springfield ordinance also would have turned all public restrooms in the city and all private restrooms available to the public into unisex facilities.  Men would have been able to invade women's restrooms, locker rooms, and shower facilities by merely claiming that their "gender identity" was that of a female.

National "gay rights" forces made retention of the ordinance a top priority.  PROMO, the Missouri homosexual rights organization, and the Human Rights Campaign, the national homosexual rights group, dedicated major resources and full-time staffers dedicated to the "no repeal" effort.  They were aided by the Springfield News-Leader, which used its news pages to repeatedly distort the true impact of the ordinance, and to propagandize in favor of the "gay rights" cause.

Springfield area churches mobilized slowly behind the repeal campaign, but finished strong.  "The churches were startled and alarmed and began to get involved.  They recognized they were the target," Morrow observed.

Pastors who had a large impact included John Lindell of James River Assembly of God, and Pastor Eddie Bumpers of Crossway Baptist Church.  Dr. George Wood, general superintendent of the Assemblies of God, sent a letter to his association's churches, urging them to actively support the repeal effort.  The international headquarters of the Assemblies of God and its many affiliate ministries are located within the city of Springfield.

The repeal effort may have been helped by a national media firestorm over religious liberty legislation in Indiana during the waning days of the Springfield campaign.  In the midst of the highly contentious debate in Indiana, homosexual rights activists waged a vicious hate campaign against a small town pizza parlor which said it would decline participation in any same-sex "wedding" ceremony.  Supporters of the pizza shop owner and his 19 year-old daughter rallied to their defense, and raised an astounding sum of over $842,000 in less than 48 hours to show support for their courageous stand.
Justin Burnett, who was elected to the Springfield City Council in the same election, said the outcome of the vote was "a victory for the faith community."  "A lot of people of faith thought this ordinance neglected their constitutional and God-given rights."

"The problem with the ordinance is that it had so many potential legal ramifications for businesses, for public safety, for the good of the city.  There was no need for the ordinance," Burnett added.

Calvin Morrow shared some excellent commentary in the wake of the election.  "There were days when this city was not divided along the lines of sex and religion.  There was a healthy relationship among all the people.  We interacted with each other without a second thought that we had differences."

"It was never important what your sexual preference was when someone bought or sold a hamburger or a car, rented or sold a house, or waited a table.  When we crossed paths in the market place we used to be just people.  What certain members of the City Council did to Springfield was a disservice to everyone, and may God help us find a way out of the chaos that was previously foreign to us."

"We will work toward healing and unification.  We are committed to continue to be a loving people.  We will continue to extend our hand and our hearts to all people, as we always have, because that's who we are.  I moved to southwest Missouri fourteen years ago and found a welcoming community.  I wasn't viewed as a black man.  I was a human being.  We were welcoming then and we are welcoming now."

We commend the citizens of Springfield for standing firm in defense of religious liberty.  We salute Calvin Morrow, Dick Hardy,  and the many Christian leaders in the Springfield community who bravely spoke out on behalf of conscience rights for Christian ministries and businesses.  We applaud all those who worked hard to protect the privacy and safety of women and children in public bathrooms. 

We pray that this vote sends a statewide message that the Christian community will fight hard to preserve our God-given freedoms to remain true to our Christian convictions and the instruction of God's Word.

Joe's Signature