Almeria Bishopric’s appeal against teacher’s admission approved

THE appeal made by Almeria Bishopric against a sentence forcing them to readmit a religious studies teacher who was dismissed has been accepted for consideration.

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.

An Almeria court ruled in favour of the Church, as did the Andalucian Supreme Court of Justice, but in May this year 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. The Bishopric was ordered to readmit her in the same conditions as before.

The Bishopric had already announced its plans to appeal the sentence, and the case has now been admitted for consideration by the Social Courtroom of the Andalucian Supreme Court of Justice. The Ministry of Education on the other hand, decided not to appeal.

The Bishop of Almeria, Adolfo Gonzalez Montes, considered the sentence to go against religious freedom and that the Diocese “can’t be forced to take on teachers who ideology goes against that of the Church”.

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