Gender Equality Ombudsperson: Religious Doctrine Cannot Be Discriminatory

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It seems that, if you claim to represent your religious views, you can pretty much say whatever you want.

Gender Equality Ombudsperson Višnja Ljubičić issued an official statement in which she commented on a recent article by Ivica Raguž, the Dean of the Catholic Theological Faculty in Đakovo, published in “Glas Koncila” (Voice of the Council), the most influential Catholic weekly in Croatia, titled “Mary’s Obedience and Women Today”. The article caused widespread criticism, reports Jutarnji List on August 17, 2016.

In his article, Raguž said that “women’s disobedience is seen in seeking their rights for equality which erases differences, the fact that women do not want to accept that they were created from Adam, and that Adam was not created from them, that they are secondary, while men are primary, and that, due to women’s disobedience, the sin has entered the world”. The article is considered by many to be sexist, but it seems that the Gender Equality Ombudsperson cannot do anything against it.

“With regard to the complaints made by citizens and the Croatian People’s Party in connection with the article about the relation between men and women from the perspective of the teachings of the Catholic Church, the Ombudsperson points out that the Law on Suppression of Discrimination provides for special cases in which it is not discriminatory to put someone in a disadvantaged position on the basis of any discrimination grounds, including gender.

The Law states that the action which is in accordance with the teachings and mission of a church or a religious community registered in the Register of Religious Communities in Croatia, and which could otherwise be characterized as discrimination, is not considered discrimination if it arises from the religious doctrine or belief within the system of values ​​of the said church or religious community.

Pursuant to the above, and considering that the disputed article has been published in Glas Koncila, which is an organ of the Catholic Church in Croatia, the Ombudsperson has no grounds for action in this case. However, the value judgment in question is subject to the assessment by the public, and especially members of the said religious community”, wrote the Ombudsperson in her statement.


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