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German court says Catholic who renounced faith has no right to job at Catholic charity

Catholic World News - April 26, 2013

A German court has ruled against a man who had claimed that he had a right to work for a Catholic charity even after he legally renounced his Catholic faith.

The plaintiff in the case had been dismissed as a tutor, working for Caritas Germany, after he changed his legal registration as a Catholic, in a public protest against Church policies. He said that his dismissal was a violation of his freedom of expression.

The court ruled that the Catholic Church, and other German religious groups, have the right to set their own standards for employment.

In Germany, citizens can register their religious affiliation, and a portion of their taxes are directed to their chosen church. Some Germans have changed their registration, dropping their affiliation with the Catholic Church. Although that public action does not constitute a formal renunciation of the Catholic faith, it does raise questions as to whether the individual can continue to be identified as Catholic.

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