This has been a busy law-and-religion news week in the United States, but there was a major story at the European Court of Human Rights as well. On Wednesday, the Grand Chamber heard argument in Fernández Martínez v. Spain, a case that could have major implications for church autonomy in Europe. The applicant in the case is challenging his dismissal as a teacher of Catholicism classes in a Spanish public school. The local bishop, who has authority over such matters under Spanish law, objected when the teacher–a married, laicized priest–appeared at a public rally in favor of optional clerical celibacy. I discuss the arguments in the case at CLR Forum.
Mark Movsesian is Director of the Center for Law and Religion at St. John’s University.