Fr Mildew says
Status of the clergy in civil law BBC Radio 4 carried an announcement of a court that effectively considers that all clergy in a diocese are counted as employees of the diocese. In canon law this is not the case, the clergy are self employed (or employed by God ?) The case refers to a lady claiming abuse by a priest now dead, who (presumably) failing to get compensation, applied for a ruling on whether she could sue the diocese as the person responsible for the actions of that priest and received an affirmative reply. This would of course open the door for other similar cases to apply if insufficient compensation was offered. What I would like to know however is whether such a judgement making us employees, would mean we could at least in theory sue the diocese in the case of possible wrongful dismissal, (or even receiving insufficient remuneration !) At present in some but not all dioceses, priests obtain an income from Christmas and Easter Offerings plus Mass stipends and stole fees for marriages, funerals etc. All that is of course taxable. If we were to be employed persons, presumably the diocese would in all cases have to pay a salary ? Perhaps some canonist might like to respond ?There are lots of other implications of being an employee: pensions, trade unions, minimum wages, working hours, legislation regarding promotion, discrimination... the mind boggles.
But then is every Catholic an employee of the Church?