The Supreme Court of Canada has reaffirmed that secular courts should not be making theological decisions.

In a May 21 ruling, the court ruled unanimously in Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church of Canada v Aga that membership in a voluntary religious community is not a matter to be adjudicated by a secular court.

Canada’s Ethiopian Orthodox Archbishop Abune Dimetros has been in a legal battle with five members of the cathedral parish of St. Mary’s in Toronto ever since the archbishop expelled the parishioners for repeatedly accusing him of tolerating heresy. Dimetros offended the five parishioners by not imposing stricter penalties on a liturgical movement.

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