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Discipline of Ministers

Courts cannot intervene in ecclesiastical matters.

Kentucky
State:
Key point: The civil courts are prohibited by the first amendment guaranty of religious freedom from resolving lawsuits brought by disciplined clergy who claim that their discipline violated denominational procedures.

• The Kentucky Supreme Court dismissed a minister's lawsuit alleging that his denomination violated the terms of his employment contract by failing to follow the denomination's Book of Discipline when it placed him on a forced leave of absence. In 1991, a Methodist minister sued the United Methodist Church claiming that a contractual relationship had been established between himself and the Church by virtue of the Book of Discipline which the minister characterized as the "employment manual" of the Church. He further claimed that the church violated the terms of his "employment contract" by failing to follow its Book of Discipline when it placed him on a forced leave ...

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Posted:
  • July 1, 1994

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