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Christianity TodayAugust (Web-only) 2004



Democrat Says He Was Fired From Catholic Charities Over Abortion
Plus: Another blow to the partial-birth abortion ban, church attacks in India and Cyprus, and other stories from online sources around the world.

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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