Ban on elderly nun’s habit in retirement home went too far, French mayor says

Catholic News Agency | 11/22/2019 | Staff
mayemaye (Posted by) Level 3
Click For Photo:

Dijon, France, Nov 22, 2019 / 10:35 am (CNA).- An elderly nun in France has received an apology from a French mayor after retirement home staff wrongly rejected her, citing a strict ban on religious garb and “ostentatious” signs of religion.

The rules would have barred the nun from wearing her religious habit and veil at the publicly funded home.

Alain - Chrétien - Mayor - Vesoul - Haute-Saône

Alain Chrétien, the mayor of Vesoul in the Haute-Saône region, apologized to the nun and offered to help her find public housing.

“This error of judgment is very regrettable,” he said, according to the New York Times.

Mayor - Retirement - Home - Staff - Blunder

The mayor said that the retirement home’s staff had made a “big blunder.” He said state employees are sometimes “paralyzed” by issues of secularism, and worried that “everyone has their own definition” of the term.

The unnamed nun, who is over 70 years old, had decided to relocate from her convent in southwestern France to Haute-Saône, her native region.

Retirement - Home - Vesoul - Miles - Dijon

She applied to a publicly-funded retirement home in Vesoul, about 55 miles northeast of Dijon. She sought a self-contained apartment with a communal eating area.

The home accepted her application in July but the local authorities said she could not wear her habit and veil.

Home - Conditions - Parish - Rent - Apartment

She declined to reside in the home under those conditions. The local parish helped her rent an apartment.

In a letter to the nun, the retirement home said: “Within our homes, our residents may have preferences and beliefs and these should be respected … with regard to secularism, all ostentatious signs of belonging to a religious community cannot be accepted in order to guarantee everyone’s tranquility,” according to the U.K. newspaper The Guardian.

Religion - Matter - Home - Cross - Discreet

“Religion is a private matter and must remain so,” it added. The home told her she could wear a cross so long as it was discreet.

The local parish priest cited her case in his monthly newsletter,...
(Excerpt) Read more at: Catholic News Agency
Wake Up To Breaking News!
Sign In or Register to comment.

Welcome to Long Room!

Where The World Finds Its News!