Father Dad and child support

Father Dad and child support

You’d think that after the Scandal of the past three years, especially in how lawyers for archdioceses and their bosses have been morally tone deaf in the way they handle legal defenses, we’d be past this now, but we aren’t.

A woman is suing a priest in Portland, Oregon, for child support for their son, which he fathered when he was a seminarian. The Redemptorist priest claims that his vow of poverty prevents him from caring for the boy. In effect, he is hiding behind the evangelical counsels to avoid dealing with effects of his sin on an innocent boy and his mother. The judge agreed and allowed him to only pay $323 per month and avoid having to provide health care for the child who suffers from asthma and allergies.

The Redemptorists are supposed to be missionaries to the poor. Where is their sense of social justice here?

Back in 1993, when the child was born, the mother sued the Archdiocese of Portlandose who claim that the Church doesn’t really believe what she teaches, but just uses it as a way to control and oppress people, especially women.

Written by
Domenico Bettinelli
7 comments
  • Don’t these guys ever read Mark 7:11ff?  Our Lord doesn’t look favorably on using a religious donation vow (“corban”) as an excuse not to support your family.

    Anyway, if the parish attributes a salary to him; couldn’t a judge demand a suitable child support amount? 

  • At least the defense of the Archdiocese wasn’t that the plantiff’s negligence was that she failed to abort the child and therefore assumed the responsibility for her son.

    He should be encouraged (or expelled) from the order / priesthood so that he can fulfill his natural law obligations to his son if he cannot do so within the order / priesthood.

    Another exhibit for the case aganist allowing priests to marry.

  • Deep shame on the Redemptorists, who will now NEVER GET A PENNY from me. Perhaps if everyone cut them off, then they would have to act as that foundation of morality: The reasonable and prudent man. Not here at all. Shame on them!

  • I don’t see how the order could have admitted him, knowing that he had responsibilities to a child.  (And if they didn’t ask as part of the formation process, they were doubly irresponsible.)

  • I agree with Mr. Sweeney that this “priest”, who should never have been ordained, ought to be required to earn sufficient income to support his offspring, even if that means leaving the Redemptorists.  This is shameful indeed.

    The response of the archdiocese reminds me of my older relatives who believed that the woman was always at fault.  Poor dumb Adam just can’t turn away from that siren Eve, so it’s not his fault if she goes and “gets herself pregnant” (as they’d say.)  I can think of a few who would’ve preferred that the woman had an abortion rather than the priest be publicly shamed.

  • From the Redemptorist perspective, the amount of money it would take to support a child for 6 years and buy insurance for him is chicken-feed.  Maybe 75,000 at the very most.

    As a practical matter, a priest in his forties may have some difficulty finding a job with benefits and a salary that would enable him to pay considerably more than what the child is getting now – at least at first.

    I do wonder if the standard child support tables are appropriate in the case of a priest who gets housing and a car along with a salary.

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