An Oklahoma woman who alleged a Catholic bishop subjected her to “severe and pervasive” discrimination at work because she was a woman is not entitled to protection by federal employment laws, a federal appeals court has ruled.

The 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals on July 13 upheld the use of the “ministerial exception” by the Roman Catholic Diocese of Tulsa in a case alleging gender and age discrimination. The 10th Circuit concluded that the plaintiff’s duties in this case were not just administrative but also spiritual, therefore granting the church immunity from her suit.

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