News from Europe

Catholic Bisops fined for not letting woman attend deacon training

In the Catholic Church, women cannot be deacons. Despite this fact, a Belgian woman applied for deacon training and was rejected. After her second rejection, her case was taken into court, where the decision was made that the former and current Archbishop of Malines-Brussels had to pay compensation to the woman.

A Belgian woman, Veer Dusauchoit, applied for training to be a deacon twice, and on both occasions she was rejected. In the Roman Catholic Church, only men can be deacons or participate in deacon training, just as only women can be nuns and participate in their training. Despite these known facts, Dusauchoit’s case was taken to court.

The Civil Tribunal of Malines in Belgium took the case and decided that the former Archbishop of Malines-Brussels, Jozef De Kesel, and the current Archbishop, Luc Terlinden, have to pay €1,500 to the woman. Even though the court sentence does not oblige the Catholic Church to ordain women as deacons and the compensation has to be paid by the individuals and not by the church, it can be seen as an intrusion of a secular court into the matters of a religious organization.

However, the court stressed that the subject of its investigation was Vaar Dusauchoit’s right to participate in the training, which does not change the fact that the decision was disregarding the rules of the Roman Catholic Church.

Source: Bitter Winter

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