A court ruling that protects a Catholic school's right to hire and fire as it wishes is a victory for every religious organization, says an attorney.
Joanne Fratello was a principal at St. Anthony School in New York until the Archdiocese decided she was not effective at advancing its values and did not renew her contract.
Fratello sued and her trial attorney argued Fratello was hired as principal and not to advance the faith.
Becket Fund attorney Daniel Blomberg says Fratello's role included leading students in daily prayer and taking them to Mass, and following St. Anthony's religious curriculum.
"That's exactly what the position that she was in, that role and her functions in that role," says the attorney, "and that's what the court ultimately decided."
The court agreed, he further explains, that the principal took on a religious role at the school.
"What courts are concerned about, and what the First Amendment is concerned with," says the attorney, "is that the government doesn't get to come in and control who your religious leaders are regardless of what their title is."
Five years ago, Becket successfully argued before the U.S. Supreme Court that a Lutheran school, not the government, chooses leaders that agree with its mission.