German court backs Catholic clinic on dismissal

AP News
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Posted: Nov 20, 2014 8:46 AM

BERLIN (AP) — Germany's highest court has overturned a ruling that a Catholic-run hospital wrongly dismissed a senior doctor for remarrying.

The case involved the chief doctor of internal medicine at a Catholic hospital who was divorced from his first wife in 2008 then remarried in a civil ceremony.

The following year, the hospital dismissed him with six months' notice. However, a court nullified the dismissal.

The Federal Constitutional Court said Thursday the legal system "cannot override the church's conception of itself" so long as that doesn't clash with the constitution. It referred the case back to a lower federal court, saying the "significance and extent" of the church's rights hadn't been sufficiently considered.

The Roman Catholic church doesn't allow divorced and remarried Catholics to receive Communion.