Gay Priest Lands Teaching Job at U. of Penn

The priest who became a local gay rights icon has landed a new job - teaching for the University of Pennsylvania.

James St. George is teaching a class on religion, social justice, and urban development, together with another member of Penn's teaching staff.

"It feels good to be teaching again," St. George told the Inquirer.

Father James St. George said he was dismissed from his teaching job at Chestnut Hill College on February 18 because of his sexual orientation.

His teaching contract was not renewed because the priest's "recent public statements regarding his long-term, same-sex partnership are at odds with the beliefs and mission of Chestnut Hill College and the Catholic Church," the school's president said in a press release.

St. George had written about his 15-year gay relationship on his blog.

He is a priest with the St. Miriam Church in Blue Bell, which is affiliated with the Old Catholic Apostolic Church of America, a sect that has no rules forbidding homosexual priests.

The Chestnut Hill College administration said they were under the impression that St. George was a Roman Catholic-ordained priest, a requirement for teaching at the school, because he wore a traditional Catholic priest's collar.

St. George will also conducting a seminar on May 10 the Presbyterian Church of Chestnut Hill, called "Human Dignity, Sexuality and the People of God: a Conversation."

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