Vatican complains after French court rules in favour of dismissed nun

The Holy See formally protested to France after a court there ruled that a former high-ranking Vatican official was liable for the wrongful dismissal of a nun from a religious order.

The Lorient tribunal on April 3 ruled in favour of the nun, Sabine de la Valette, known at the time as Mother Marie Ferréol. The court issued a scathing denunciation of the secretive process the Vatican used to kick her out of the order, the Dominicans of the Holy Spirit, after an internal investigation.

The case is highly unusual because it represented a secular civilian court essentially determining that the Vatican’s in-house canonical procedures grossly violated the nun’s fundamental rights.

In a statement on Saturday, the Vatican said it had formally protested to the French embassy that it had received no notification of any such verdict. However, the ruling nevertheless represented a “grave violation” of the right to religious freedom.

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