The Vatican has slammed a pro-gay European Court of Human Rights ruling allowing employers to limit religious expression if it comes into conflict with equality laws.
Archbishop Dominique Mamberti, the Vatican foreign secretary, said everyone in Europe must have the right to object to anything they find immoral.
‘Regarding morally controversial subjects, such as abortion or homosexuality, freedom of consciences must be respected,’ the archbishop said on Vatican Radio.
On Tuesday (15 January), the ECHR rejected three out of four appeals filed by Christians in the UK who had been fired or disciplined by their employers.
The only winning appeal was by a British Airways worker who wanted to wear a cross on her uniform.
The court, however, dismissed cases brought by a counselor who was fired who had a moral objection to offering therapy to gay couples, and a registrar who objected to presiding over civil partnerships.
The therapist, called Gary McFarlane, said he would appeal against the judgment at the court’s Grand Chamber.
‘I simply wanted to do my job in light of my Christian identity, but I was policed and punished for my thoughts, for my beliefs,’ McFarlane said.
‘Recent equality legislation has not led to greater respect for difference but to the punishment of difference of opinion.’
Mamberti said: ‘Every person, no matter what his beliefs, has, by means of his conscience, the natural capacity to distinguish good from evil and that he should act accordingly. Therein lies the true freedom.’