The New Jersey Supreme Court has issued a unanimous ruling saying that a Catholic school can legally fired a teacher for having premarital sex, The Christian Post reported.
The case involved an art teacher who became pregnant while unmarried, violating her employment agreement with the school that requires employees to adhere to Catholic teachings, including those regarding premarital sex.
Justice Lee Solomon ruled that the the teacher’s firing was allowed because state law permits religious groups or organizations to use their belief systems as a guideline for hiring people.
“Here, it is uncontroverted that St. Theresa’s followed the religious tenets of the Catholic Church in terminating Crisitello. St. Theresa’s was therefore entitled to summary judgment and the dismissal of the complaint with prejudice,” wrote Solomon.
“The record evidence demonstrates that St. Theresa’s consistently maintained its position that Crisitello was terminated for violating Catholic law by engaging in premarital sex. And Crisitello has presented no evidence to counter St. Theresa’s asserted position,” he added.
In a statement released this Monday, the religious liberty group Becket endorsed the ruling.
“Teachers make the school,” said the group’s vice president and senior counsel Eric Rassbach. “The whole point of a religious school is to help parents educate their children in their faith. And to do that, schools must have teachers who believe in and follow their faith.”
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