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Priest testifies in trial of fired unwed Missouri teacher

The Associated Press
Posted: Sep. 12, 2019 7:00 am Updated: Sep. 12, 2019 7:43 am

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) A Catholic priest has testified in the case of a teacher who alleges that she was fired from a Catholic school in Kansas City, Missouri because she was pregnant and unmarried that the problem wasn't pregnancy but "fornication."

The Kansas City Star reports that the Rev. Joseph Cisetti testified Wednesday that he "praised" the decision of former St. Therese School teacher Michelle Bolen not to have an abortion but told her she was in violation of her contract. Asked for clarification, he explained that "sexual relations must take place exclusively in marriage."

But Cisetti says he favored offering her a contract, while the school's then-principal didn't. He says he was concerned about dismissing her because it might create an environment that would be conducive to abortion.

Bolen says she believes administrators then concocted non-pregnancy-related reasons for not renewing her contract in July 2015 after 15 years working at the school.

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Information from: The Kansas City Star, http://www.kcstar.com