Statement on Today’s Decision in the Matter of Phillips v. Archdiocese of Newark et al

(Statement of James Goodness, Vice Chancellor and Director of Communications Archbishop of Newark on Today’s Decision in the Matter of Phillips v. Archdiocese of Newark et al)

We are thankful that the court has recognized that St. Theresa’s School, a private Catholic school within the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Newark, acted appropriately according to the Church’s rules and practices, and consistent with its absolute rights as protected by the First Amendment.

From the beginning of this unfortunate affair, we have asserted clearly and consistently that the school and the Archdiocese took the steps they did for two sole reasons. We sought to ensure that the school and the men and women who undertook this ministry could continue to fulfill the school’s Catholic mission for the benefit of the children and parents it serves. We also sought to protect the serenity and well-being of a larger school and parish community that has been victimized by the behavior of two parents who would not accept the rules by which the school operates. At all times we acted not to punish anyone, but to protect the vital Catholic mission of a community of learning and faith.

​We wish also to be clear that this is not a day for rejoicing. Although the family at the center of this lawsuit was unsuccessful in its efforts to disrupt and inflict further damage on the school community, we wish them no ill will. It is our hope that the parents will learn from this experience as they seek alternative venues for their children’s education and athletic recreation.