Court: Religious groups pick their leaders, not the state

By Alicia Powe


WASHINGTON – A New York court has ruled that a Catholic school is legally permitted to choose a principal who shares and advances its faith, dismissing a plaintiff’s argument that promoting religion in school is indoctrination akin “to protecting jihadists.”

Administrators of St. Anthony Catholic School claimed their former principal, Joanne Fratello, was ineffective in promoting the school’s Catholic values and did not renew her contract.

Fratello sued St. Anthony and the archdiocese, alleging she was wrongfully fired by the school due to gender discrimination.

A New York federal district court last year dismissed the action against the archdiocese, ruling that the church could invoke “ministerial exception” when firing Fratello, a precedent set by the Supreme Court which exempts religious institutions from anti-discrimination laws in hiring employees.

But Fratello subsequently appealed to the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, claiming the school was not legally permitted to hire a principal based on whether the individual would promote the church’s teachings.

Fratello’s attorney, Michael Diederich Jr., argued that the Catholic church is “dangerous to society” and compared the school’s adherence to its beliefs to “indoctrinating children with Stalinist communism.”

“Ms. Fratello and her attorney urge this court to recognize what the Founding Fathers knew, corroborated today by our increasing knowledge in the sciences, namely, that organized religions and religious dogma are dangerous to a society, and what a society needs is enlightened rationality,” Diedrich claimed in a brief to the court.

See what American education has become, in “Crimes of the Educators: How Utopians Are Using Government Schools to Destroy America’s Children.”

“Religion is always self-serving to the religious group (the church), and to
the extent that secular courts protect religious practitioners outside the church
house, the courts advance and endorse faith over reason,” he continued

But on Friday, a three-judge panel at the appeals court said the archdiocese has Click to see the original article