The Autonomy and Ministers of Religious Organizations

Norman Doe

in Law and Religion in Europe

Published in print August 2011 | ISBN: 9780199604005
Published online September 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780191729331 | DOI:
The Autonomy and Ministers of Religious Organizations

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This chapter examines the principle of autonomy — its nature and rationale — the prohibition against State intervention in the internal affairs of religious organizations, and the limits of religious autonomy. It then goes on to examine the institutional autonomy of religious organizations in terms of their legislative, administrative, and judicial competence. It explores the status of religious law under State law (and the degree to which religious groups are free to administer this freely), administrative and ministerial autonomy (including the appointment of ministers of religion, their civil law status, and functions), and the functions of religious judicial and quasi-judicial bodies (particularly in the field of ministerial discipline). The chapter ends with a section on autonomy and confidentiality (with particular reference to religious secrets and confession). One theme explored is the difficulty of identifying what constitutes the internal affairs of a religious organization for the purpose of defining its autonomy.

Keywords: institutional autonomy; religious organizations; religious law; administrative autonomy; ministerial autonomy; confidentiality

Chapter.  15012 words. 

Subjects: EU Law

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