Regarding “Medical providers clash with bosses over faith,” Aug. 21, Page 1:

The article points out one expected problem with a recent U.S. Supreme Court decision. The court considered a disability discrimination claim brought by Kristen Biel when her teaching contract at a Catholic school was not renewed after she requested time off for treatment of her breast cancer. The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops and others argued that Biel was a “minister” and could not file a claim. Others warned that considering a teacher a “minister” would prohibit employees of religious organizations, including health care professionals, from exercising their civil rights.

The court decided to expand the definition of “minister” and essentially exempt religious organizations from civil rights employment discrimination claims. Which brings us to Megan Kreft’s civil rights complaint. If Providence is a religious organization and Kreft’s position was ministerial, as she described, she cannot bring a civil rights employment discrimination claim — an outcome the bishops supported. Perhaps the better course would have been to allow civil rights claims to proceed and be determined on the facts of each case.

Peggy Toole