EVERGREEN PARK, Ill (CBS) -- A southwest suburban Catholic school principal has been fired for defying the archdiocese mask mandate.
Jacob "Doc" Mathius had been on leave from Queen of Martyrs in Evergreen Park since last week.
The move prompted two days of protests by parents and students. Mathius said the conditions set for his return were unreasonable, so he was terminated.
In a letter to families of Queen of Martyrs, Father Martin Maren confirmed discussions with Mathius and hoped "we could agree on a path forward that would enable him to return as principal of Queen of Martyrs School."
The letter said "I told him I would welcome him back but that, in my view, he needed to take some fair and reasonable steps that would repair the breach his actions created in our parish and school community, as well as with our sister schools in the Archdiocese."
Maren added "I am greatly disappointed to say he declined and as a result, will not be returning to our school."
Families of Queen of Martyrs staged protests calling for Mathius' return when he was placed on administrative leave earlier this month, after announcing masks would be optional at the school, even though the Archdiocese is still requiring masks at all Chicago area Catholic schools.
"I am saddened, as I trust you are, by his decision. I am sure you can understand that it is not possible for an organization to employ someone who will not abide by rules that apply to all. That is a lesson we teach our children, and it also applies to adults," Maren said.
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