The Vatican says the French judge violates religious freedom

The Vatican Secretariat of State sent a letter to the French Embassy to the Holy See, describing the intervention of a French civil court in an internal church matter as a “serious violation” of religious freedom. Moreover, the court's ruling would jeopardize the immunity of Cardinal Curie.

Earlier this month, a French court in Lorient, Brittany, convicted the Canadian cardinal Mark Ouellet Two church researchers were ordered to pay a fine of 235,000 euros for illegal dismissal in 2020 of Sabine Boudin de la Valette (57).

De la Valette was under the monastic name Mother Marie Ferrol Traditional prince Dominican Monastery of the Holy Spirit In Brittany. After years of reports of tensions in the community, Pope Francis sent an investigation team to the monastery, consisting of the heads of two other religious orders. They heard one hundred nuns and submitted their report to Rome. The Mother Superior was then summarily dismissed, by a decision signed by the Dean of the Dicastery of Bishops, Cardinal Marc Ouellet. De La Valette, who had to rely on a living wage after her dismissal, appealed the decision before the French Civil Court because, as she put it, she was dismissed from work without reasons and without having the opportunity to defend herself. On April 3, the judge ruled in her favor.

Matteo BruniThe director of the Vatican Press Office now confirms that an explanatory “note verbale” has been submitted to the French Embassy to the Holy See.

According to the memorandum, the eventual conviction by the French court — the two convicted scholars are still appealing — “could not only raise important issues of immunity, but if it were to rule on internal discipline and membership in a religious institute, it could also constitute a serious violation of the fundamental right to religious freedom.” The right to freedom of association for Catholic believers.

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sources: Dutch DagbladNCR (English) – Lacroix (French)

Denton Watson

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