Being gay or divorced will no longer be grounds for dismissal within the German Catholic Church. The particular rules of labor law had been denounced for a long time, including by people belonging to the institution. This is one of the largest employers in Germany, especially in the social sector. The measure decided by a majority of the bishops must now be translated into practice in each German bishopric.
With our correspondent in Berlin, Pascal Thibault
” The privacy of our employees should not be subject to any legal control and does not concern the employer “. The press release from the German bishops’ conference sets out an apparently elementary principle. But the constitutional provisions which guarantee the Churches a special status, in particular for labor law, could have had radical consequences until now.
Make his ” coming out for a homosexual could result in dismissal; a chief physician at a Catholic hospital who had divorced and remarried had been fired. The German courts had dismissed it; he won his case before the European Court of Justice.
The 800,000 employees of the Catholic Church in Germany will no longer have to fear such measures. The Caritas organization, which notably manages hospitals, said it was relieved. The federation of lay Catholics believes that the institution can finally be perceived as Christian.
Queer people employed by the Catholic Church had published a manifesto at the beginning of the year and handed in a petition calling for an end to discrimination. The government is considering abolishing the exceptions in terms of social law valid for the two Christian Churches.