Press Release

Archdiocese seeks to protect Catholic education Court to decide if Archdiocese of Indianapolis can choose teachers who uphold Catholic teaching

Media Contact

Ryan Colby 202-349-7219

Additional Information

WASHINGTON – The Archdiocese of Indianapolis will be in court next Thursday defending its right to provide students and families with an authentic Catholic education. In Payne-Elliott v. Archdiocese of Indianapolis, a former teacher at a Catholic high school has sued the Archdiocese, claiming that it is illegal for the Archdiocese to require Catholic schools to hire teachers who will uphold the Catholic faith in word and deed.

In 2017, Joshua Payne-Elliott, a teacher at Cathedral Catholic High School in Indianapolis, violated his employment agreement and centuries of Church teaching by entering a same-sex marriage. After two years of discussion and deliberation, the Archdiocese informed Cathedral that if it wanted to remain affiliated with the Catholic Church, it could not continue employing teachers who lived in defiance of Church teaching. When Cathedral separated from Mr. Payne-Elliott, he sued the Archdiocese, seeking money damages and arguing that its religious directive to Cathedral was unlawful.

Becket is defending the Archdiocese, pointing out that the government cannot punish the Archdiocese for telling a Catholic school what rules it needs to follow in order to remain a Catholic school.

Oral Argument in Payne-Elliott v. Archdiocese of Indianapolis

Luke Goodrich, vice president and senior counsel at Becket

Thursday, December 12, 2019 at 9:30 a.m. EST

City-County Building
200 E. Washington St.
Indianapolis, IN 46204 

Luke Goodrich will be available for comment immediately following the hearing.

For more information or to arrange an interview, contact Ryan Colby atmedia@becketlaw.orgor 202-349-7219.Interviews can be arranged in English, Chinese, French, German, Portuguese, Russian, and Spanish.