USCCB Chairmen Praise Supreme Court Decision Recognizing the Right of the Church to Choose Its Own Leaders

July 8, 2020

PHOTO: Demonstrators in Washington hold a large cross outside the U.S. Supreme Court July 8, 2020. (CNS photo/Jonathan Ernst, Reuters)

WASHINGTON –The Supreme Court of the United States has issued its decision in the consolidated cases of Our Lady of Guadalupe School v. Morrissey-Berru and St. James School v. Biel. These cases involved the right of Catholic schools, free of government interference, to choose teachers who will teach and model the Catholic faith. By a vote of 7-2, the Court ruled in favor of the schools.

Archbishop Thomas G. Wenski of Miami, chairman of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ (USCCB) Committee for Religious Liberty, and Bishop Michael C. Barber, S.J. of Oakland, chairman of the Committee on Catholic Education, have issued a statement addressing the decision:

““Education is a central aspect of the Church’s mission. Indeed, teaching is one of the Spiritual Works of Mercy. Our Lady of Guadalupe and St. James schools continue the Catholic tradition of offering Christian education. As institutions carrying out a ministry of the Church, Catholic schools have a right, recognized by the Constitution, to select people who will perform ministry. The government has no authority to second-guess those ministerial decisions. We welcome the Supreme Court’s decision, which rightly acknowledged this limit on state authority. This decision means that the Church can continue to serve her neighbors with integrity.”

The USCCB filed an amicus curiae brief supporting these religious institutions, which may be found here: Our Lady of Guadalupe School v. Morrisey-Berru

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