It should not cede control over this essential public service to any private institution, such as Saint Vincent’s Holdings.
Our Constitution was heavily influenced by Catholic Church teaching. There are Articles in our Constitution that protect the interests of charitable institutions with a religious purpose. Article 44.2.5 states that:
Every religious denomination shall have the right to manage its own affairs, own, acquire and administer property, movable and immovable, and maintain institutions for religious or charitable purposes.
But what is a ‘religious denomination’ in this context, and how can it ‘manage its own affairs’? The Supreme Court examined this question in 1997, when it was testing the constitutionality of Section 37 of the Employment Equality Act. In that case the Supreme Court found that:
The term ‘religious denomination’, was therefore intended to be a generic term wide enough to cover the various churches, religious societies or religious congregations under whatever name they wished to describe themselves.
These various religious denominations may control religious, educational or medical institutions, whether directly or through a board of guardians or trustees . . .
Continue reading @ Atheist Ireland.