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Stand-off in dispute over sacked chaplain

A stand-off is continuing between the Church and Edith Cowan University in Perth over the sacking of a Catholic chaplain.

The Catholic Leader reports the university sacked the chaplain, Fr David Watt, on 16 November after his name appeared in a list of people opposed to the State Government's proposal to recognised same-sex marriages.

Archbishop Barry Hickey of Perth accused the university of breaching its own guidelines on freedom of speech and dismissal or staff and has refused to accept Fr Watt's dismissal.

A meeting last week between Archbishop Hickey and Deputy vice-chancellor, Professor Elizabeth Harman, failed to resolve the issue.

Professor Harman said the university had advised the archdiocese two years ago that Fr Watt's work was unsatisfactory because he had not interacted with other university chaplains or management. But Archbishop Hickey said the letter of dismissal referred only to his compromising the university by putting his name and occupation in the newspaper advertisement opposing same-sex marriage recognition.

Perth Archbishop attacks university over sacking of Catholic Chaplain (19/11/01)
University and Catholics in gay law row (West Australian 17/11/01)

Catholic Leader