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Vatican criticizes European religious freedom ruling

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VaticanThe Vatican on Wednesday (Jan. 16) criticized a ruling from the European Court of Human Rights that affirms employers’ right to limit the expression of religious beliefs in the workplace when it conflicts with equality laws.

In an interview with Vatican Radio, Archbishop Dominique Mamberti, the Vatican’s foreign minister, said that on “morally controversial subjects, such as abortion or homosexuality,” people have the right to defend their freedom of conscience.

In what has been hailed as a landmark ruling, the European Court of Human Rights on Tuesday rejected three out of four appeals filed by Christians who had been fired or disciplined by their employers for behaviors connected to their faith.

The cases included a registrar who was disciplined for refusing to officiate the civil partnership of a same-sex couple, and a counselor who was sacked for denying sex therapy to gays.

The Strasbourg-based court also rejected the appeal of a nurse who had refused to remove a crucifix during work, while upholding the right of a British Airways hostess who had been disciplined for wearing a small cross on her uniform.


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