Nepal's Catholic church has become embroiled in the row between St Xavier's, the country's oldest and best-known school run by Jesuit fathers, and the teachers' union over the dismissal of a staff member.
Father Anthony Amulyanath Sharma, ordained Nepal's first bishop by Pope Benedict, Saturday expressed "full support" for the church-run school that has been locked in a fierce dispute with the Nepal Institutional School Teachers' Union (NISTU) since the beginning of this year.
After disrupting classes by staging a sit-in in front of the school in Kathmandu valley's Lalitpur district in winter, the NISTU closed down all schools in the valley on Thursday to protest against the dismissal of a teacher.
"I wish to state my full support for St Xavier's in this time of difficulty and condemn this unwarranted interference that is disrupting the education of hundreds of thousands of students," Bishop Sharma said in a statement.
St Xavier's opened in 1951 with 65 students after then prime minister Mohun Shumsher Jung Bahadur Rana extended an invitation to the Jesuit fathers to start a school in Nepal.