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Religion teacher gets job back, 17 years after losing it over “bad” marriage

Resurrección Galera, who teaches in southern Spain, was let go in 2001 after she married a divorcé

Resurreccion Galera
Resurrección Galera will start teaching again at a state school in Almería. EFE

Seventeen years later, a Spanish religion teacher named Resurrección Galera is back at her job, which she lost in 2001 after the Catholic Church refused to renew her contract because she had married a divorced man.

On Monday Galera took up her post at a public school in Llanos de la Cañada, in Almería province, two years after the Supreme Court ruled that she had to be reinstated. In its decision, the court said that her dismissal “violated fundamental rights.”

Judges found that her marriage bore no relation to her work as a religion teacher, and that she could not be fired for having failed to follow the precepts of the Roman Catholic Church, which has control over the hiring of religion teachers in state schools.

Judges found that her marriage bore no relation to her work as a religion teacher

At the time of her dismissal, Galera had been teaching Catholic religion for seven years at Ferrer Guardia Elementary School, earning a monthly check of around €1,400 from the Education Ministry. In 2001 the Diocese of Almería decided not to renew her contract after finding out that Galera had married a German divorcé, Johannes Romes, in a civil ceremony.

Despite the legal rulings in her favor, it was not until July of this year that the ministry announced that Galera would be readmitted at her old school.

In its 2016 decision, the Supreme Court ordered the Education Ministry, the Andalusian education department and the Diocese of Almería to reinstate the teacher and pay her back wages.

The Diocese of Almería had appealed twice before the Constitutional Court in its bid to prevent Galera’s return, but on Monday it said in a release that it respects the courts’ decisions.

English version by Susana Urra.

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