MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – A church music director in Victoria who lost his job after marrying his long-time partner, is speaking out.
“I had held out hope that this just wouldn’t have to become an issue,” Jamie Manzi-Moore said.
Manzi-Moore said Archbishop John Nienstedt asked for his resignation just days before he married his long-time partner last weekend.
“I was heartbroken. I was absolutely heartbroken,” Manzi-Moore said.
It was a feeling he never expected the week of his wedding.
But last Tuesday, he said the Archbishop asked for his resignation even after his own priest had fought to keep him on staff.
“Archbishop Nienstedt was the person requesting my resignation,” Manzi-Moore said.
In a statement, Archbishop Nienstedt referred to the basic employee policy of the archdiocese as a reason a church employee may be asked to resign.
The policy specifically cites, “public conduct which is inconsistent with the faith, morals, teachings, and laws of the Catholic Church.”
“I have known ever since going to work for the Catholic Church that this could be a possibility at some point in time,” Manzi-Moore said.
Manzi-Moore has been music director at St. Victoria’s for 17 years.
He said he eventually came out to Father Bob White and staff, and that Archbishop Nienstedt found out in 2011 that he and his partner Garrett were living together.
He said Nienstedt contacted the church, and that Father White told the Archbishop that he wanted to keep him on staff.
“There was nothing else said. The Archbishop never called back. Never wrote back,” he said.
Until last week.
Manzi-Moore got married and lost his job as a result.
He said he doesn’t blame the Archbishop. He’s just hoping that someday the Catholic Church will accept same-sex marriage.
“It might take me a while to quote unquote, ‘come back.’ But I was born and raised Catholic and I love the Catholic faith,” he said.
Manzi-Moore said he understands the Archbishop is simply upholding the church’s teachings.
But he wants to thank all the parishioners who have supported him.
He said he will officially resign on Thursday and he does not have another job right now.