Bishopric to appeal sentence to readmit Almeria teacher

THE Bishopric in Almeria will appeal the sentence of the Constitutional Court which annulled the decision to dismiss a religious studies teacher who had married a divorcee. The bishopric will appeal to the Andalucian Supreme Court of Justice, after they, along with the Junta de Andalucia Education Department and the Ministry of Education, were sentenced to immediately readmit her and pay her the wages which she should have received over the past 11 years.

Resurreccion Galera Navarro taught ‘religious studies’ at the Ferrera Guardia state school in La Cañada, and at the start of the 2001-2002 term, was asked by the bishop to “quietly” give up her position, where she had been working for seven years. The sole reason for this was that she had married a German divorcee.

There had never been any complaints against her, but the Catholic community could not conceive that a woman who married a divorced German man at a civil ceremony could teach religion.

Religious studies teachers in Spanish state schools are appointed by the Church.

The Minister for Education at the time, Pilar del Castillo, heard of the case, but said simply that the bishopric had taken a ‘legal decision’, as well as there being two sentences supporting their decision and an agreement with the Vatican.

An Almeria court ruled in favour of the Church, as did the Andalucian Supreme Court of Justice, but the Constitutional Court recognized her right not to be discriminated due to her ‘personal circumstances’ as they do not affect her activity as a teacher or her knowledge on the subjects.

For five years, she and her husband have been running a guesthouse in the Cabo de Gata-Nijar Natural Park, where they live with their five-year-old daughter.


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