Single Mother Barred from Teaching Religion

Schools have the right to bar single mothers from teaching religion, the highest court in Roman Catholic Italy said Wednesday.

It ruled that a Florence school was entitled to block a young woman from teaching religious studies because she had fallen pregnant out of wedlock.

"Teaching religion... has to conform to the doctrine of the Church, so the suitability of the teachers has to be recognized by the ecclesiastical authorities," the court ruling said.

Italy is a predominantly Roman Catholic country and the Church still exerts great authority over many aspects of life.