A fired Wisconsin pastoral associate has been notified that she will not be reinstated to her job and cannot serve in any leadership role, voluntary or otherwise, in her Beloit parish.
In 2003, Ruth Kolpack wrote a thesis for a master’s degree in which she argued for more gender-inclusive language in Catholic liturgies. In March, after meeting with Kolpack briefly, Madison Bishop Robert Morlino asked her to denounce that paper. When she refused, he fired her.
Details on what precisely led to the dismissal have not been divulged. However, a statement on the Madison diocese's Web site explained that the bishop acted because he could not trust her to teach authentic Catholic doctrine.
Kolpack has been a member of St. Thomas parish in Beloit for 35 years and worked there for 26 years. Her termination upset many parishioners there.