Church worker reinstated after being sacked for inappropriate sexual activities

September 24, 2010

The European Court of Human Rights has judged that the Catholic Church in Germany wrongfully dismissed one of its employees.

Bernhard Scheuth was fired from his job as church organist in 1997. His employment contract included a pledge to uphold church teachings. After it became known that he had performed sexual acts which violated the ethics of the Church, he was fired for breach of contract.

“I was born human, a sexual being, a man. You can’t negotiate that in a contract. Your sexuality is part of your humanity, it’s simply non-negotiable.” – Bernhard Scheuth

For the Catholic Church however, at least in this case, sexual misconduct is “simply non-negotiable”. Scheuth was fired and the German courts agreed that the Church had acted correctly.

The reader may be wondering by now just which form of sexual misconduct it was, that so appalled the Catholic Church that would fire a valued employee. (Church organists are no doubt not so easy to come by. They have actual skills and practical knowledge, after all.)

Well, here it is: he left his wife, and engaged in heterosexual acts over a long period with a consenting female adult, with whom he entered a long term relationship, and who begat him a child. That is, he committed adultery.

I guess it need not be pointed out that had this gentleman been having sex with a child instead of a consenting adult, the entire apparatus of the church would have been engaged in protecting him from exposure as well as ensuring he could keep his job.

Comments welcome, but please try to address the issues raised in the article!

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