By CHARLES D. WILSON
INDIANAPOLIS — A former Roman Catholic schoolteacher who sued a northern Indiana diocese after being fired nearly three years ago for having in vitro fertilization says in court documents that church doctrine on the procedure should not be presented to the jury.
In documents filed last week in federal court in Fort Wayne, church attorneys said they want Bishop Kevin Rhoades and other officials in the Diocese of Fort Wayne-South Bend to testify and explain the doctrine in Emily Herx’s sex discrimination lawsuit against the diocese and St. Vincent De Paul School in Fort Wayne.
But Herx’s attorneys said in documents the doctrine is irrelevant and that the church has flipped its former position.
“Defendants have argued repeatedly that their religious teachings should not be hashed out before a secular court, and now they seek to bring religious teachings front and center,” Herx’s lawyers wrote.
The Roman Catholic Church shuns in vitro fertilization, or IVF, which involves mixing egg and sperm in a laboratory dish and transferring a resulting embryo into the womb.
Herx sued the diocese in April 2012, alleging the diocese violated the Civil Rights Act and the Americans with Disabilities Act by discriminating against her based on gender and on infertility, which is considered a disability.
In a letter Herx wrote to St. Vincent officials…