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Accueil > France > Droit et religion > Dispositions > Aumônerie > Le cadre juridique des services d’aumônerie à l’hôpital

Le cadre juridique des services d’aumônerie à l’hôpital

Article 2 of the Law of 9 December 1905 on the separation of churches and the state declares that the "Republic does not recognize, pay the salaries of or subsidize any faith", specifying that "what could be included, however, [...] is expenditure relating to chaplaincy services, intended to ensure the free practice of different faiths in public institutions, such as primary and secondary schools, hospices, asylums and prisons". The presence of chaplains in hospitals is a direct implementation of the principle of religious freedom which should be effective in places where worship is limited by travel restrictions imposed on patients.

Article R1112-46 of the Public Health Code therefore states that "In-patients must be capable of participating in the practice of their religion. Once they have submitted a request to the institution’s administration, they can receive visits from their chosen minister of worship". The "Hospitalized Persons charter" - states that "the health care facility must respect the beliefs and convictions of people welcomed there. In public health institutions, anyone must be capable of participating in religious practice (meditation, presence of the relevant minister of religion, food, freedom of action and expression, funeral rites...). However, the expression of religious convictions must not affect the functioning of the department, nor the quality of care, nor hygiene rules, nor the peace and quiet of other hospitalized individuals and their close relations. All proselytism is forbidden, whether by a hospitalized person, a visitor, a member of staff or a volunteer".

Rules for organising hospital chaplaincy services and recruitment of chaplains appear in a simple circular of 20 December 2006. This document specifies that it is the management boards that determine the numbers of chaplains recruited, permanently or temporarily, either as paid contract workers or as volunteers. Regardless of the religion to which they belong, chaplains are recruited or authorized by heads of institutions based on a proposal from the religious authorities to which they belong on the basis of their internal organisation ; however, "in the absence of a clearly identified religious authority, no approval may be given to a request to establish a chaplaincy service."

Religious authorities will be compulsorily consulted, where appropriate, on termination of contracts by the administration ; termination is mandatory if the chaplain’s religious authority withdraws its approval (EC, 17 Oct 1980, Sieur Pont).

Decree No. 2017-756 of 3 May 2017 provides that paid chaplains recruited from 1 October 2017 must have a civil and civic training diploma or, failing that, commit themselves to obtain it within two years of their recruitment (see current debates).

31 mai 2017