Glasgow, May. 25 (CWNews.com) - Scottish Church authorities vetoed the appointment of Catholic teachers who divorced and remarried, an employment tribunal heard yesterday.
Catholic teachers who sent their own children to non-religious schools were also banned from “reserved posts” in Church establishments, reports the Scottish Daily Record .
David McNab, a math teacher at St. Paul’s Roman Catholic High School in Pollok, Glasgow, has taken the city council before an employment tribunal, claiming religious discrimination. He says he was not considered for the post of head of pastoral care because he is an atheist.
McNab, 53, told the Glasgow tribunal he was made to feel like a “second-class citizen” when the school’s head-teacher told him he could not be considered as the job required Catholic approval. Sectarian schools in Scotland are run by local governments.
The council deny discrimination on the grounds of religion or religious belief.
Keir Bloomer, a former deputy director of education with Strathclyde Regional Council, told the tribunal Catholic teachers seeking jobs at Catholic schools had to gain Church approval.
He explained that teachers of “reserved” subjects like religious and moral education, as well as pastoral care staff, are expected to be Catholic and have to satisfy the local Church of their “religious belief and character.” This condition does not apply to non-Catholics applying for ‘non-reserved’ posts.
Bloomer, now chief executive of Clackmannanshire Council, was asked why the Church may not approve of some Catholic teachers.
He replied, “Being divorced and remarried tended to be something the Church regarded as a just cause for withdrawing approval.”
McNab claims a law banning discrimination on the grounds of religious belief means he should have been allowed to apply. The case continues.