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1992-01-13 - Court of cassation, n. 9155

Workplace · Belgium · Employement contract · Religious leader

A secular priest who teaches catholic religion in a private school is under an employment contract with the school authorities in spite of his obligations toward his bishop

Key facts of the case - A secular priest was teaching catholic religion in a primary private school.
The first judge considered that there was not any employment contract between the priest and the school where he taught because of lack of personal and formal consent.
According to the first judge, teaching catholic education was the consequence of the claimant’s religious statute because priests had to obey their bishop and to be totally devoted to catholic rules.

Main reasoning of the court - The Court cancelled the first decision because of its too abstract and theoretical affirmations on Constitutional law and separation of Church and State. The judge should have to consider all the facts of the case and to decide in concreto.
The priest was under the control and supervising of the school; he had a schedule and a wage at the end of the month whatever the nature of the relation.
In fact, the teacher duties were organised by the school authorities. This relation was totally apart from the relations between secular priest and his bishop.

See the decision: 1992-01-13 - Court of cassation, n. 9155.