Update on Father Dad

Update on Father Dad

It took national headlines and outrage to make it happen, but the Redemptorists are going to pony up more child support for the son of one of their priests. (I had mentioned him a couple of days ago.)

The provincial leader said the boy would get counseling and more child support, and the boy’s father would have to get counseling to learn how to be a proper father. You’d think that someone who didn’t know how to be a proper father to his own son would probably not be a great spiritual father to a parish, but what do I know?

The minister-general(?) of the province said he had not known how the order’s attorneys were fighting the case in court and was only told about it when the lawyers learned the case was going to appear in newspapers. Gee, do you think that maybe Catholic institutions should really keep a closer eye on how their lawyers are handling the various lawsuits they’re embroiled in? How sad that there are so many that they can’t keep track.

Written by
Domenico Bettinelli
13 comments
  • “The despotic government in some country in Africa destroys the economy, and then the U.S. is seen as the big greedy continent across the ocean that is expected to step in and provide what their own government took away.”

    Well, unlike the situation in other countries, here the U.S. bears a large part of the responsibility for puting the despotic government there in the first place.  If we, the Brits, and the U.N. hadn’t put the screws on the government of Rhodesia (under which both black and white citizens enjoyed greater freedom and prosperity than they do under Mugabe), and then turned a blind eye to the fraudulent election of 1980, it’s not clear the people of Zimbabwe would be suffering any of these problems.  (Oh, I forgot, they’d be suffering under the denial of “majority rule.”  Never mind.)

    I’m not an advocate of the U.S. going forth in search of monsters to destroy, but in the case of Zimbabwe, sending in the Marines to depose Mugabe could be characterized as an act of simple corrective justice.

  • sending in the Marines to depose Mugabe could be characterized as an act of simple corrective justice.

    But what sort of precedent would it set—er, um…continue? After Iraq, how could we justify it?  What guarantee is there that once the country was destabilized, it could be stabilized again?

  • “Shocked, shocked…” to find that their lawyers were denying responsibility for this child.  Lawyers as a rule don’t like their own ethics undermined by clients in print—- assuming that Picton is lying here.

    “You don’t not take care of the kid.”  Picton needs remedial English.

  • Seamus, it’s clear that the people in Zimbabwe are responsible for Zimbabwe by allowing Mugabe to aggregate absolute, unaccountable power since 1979.  As a committed Marxist, he’s satisfied with his rule, and by playing ethnic groups (i.e. tribes) against each other retains much internal popular support—perhaps he’d still win an unrigged election.  It’s different situation from Afghanistan, Iraq, or Sudan.  It’s much more like North Korea or Cuba.

  • We have enough trouble keeping support for changing the governments of countries that wish to destroy us without taking on Africa besides.  If you think that the Left howls about imperialism now, wait till we try to remove Mugabe.

    The citizens of Zimbabwe are adults.  Let them overthrow their dictator—time for them to make spears out of their plowshares.

  • Come on, Dom.  Don’t be too hard on this newly elected Provincial, Very Reverend Thomas Picton.  He has just arrived on the scene and should be encouraged for doing the right thing.  The past administration is gone.  This is an occasion where one should see the glass half full.

  • According to an article in the LA Times:
    “Under the direction of Portland’s archbishop at the time, William J. Levada, church attorneys tried to get the suit dismissed in 1994 on several grounds. In a motion, they argued that the “birth of the plaintiff’s child and the resultant expenses … are the result of the plaintiff’s own negligence” because she engaged in “unprotected intercourse.”“
    I believe it is the wrong thing to do to tell a boy that he was brought into the world because of negligence.  Generally, I think it is better if a boy has the support, love, understanding, and companionship of his father, and it is not a good thing for the father to be absent. It seems the wrong thing to do, when these lawyers of the Catholic Church file sworn documents in Court saying that the boy was brought into the world because of negligence on the part of his mother who did not use artficial birth control, when she ws having sex with a Catholic seminarian.  And these are the lawyers of the
    present head of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, a Vatican position that makes him chief guardian of Roman Catholic doctrine worldwide.

  • I think the priest in this case should leave the order and provide for his child. Yes, the whole thing was a terrible mistake but the kid is here and has to be taken care of. The entire Redemptorist order didn’t get this woman pregnant so the entire order shouldn’t be responsible for this child’s care.

  • No, the United States does not need to get involved in this. The Zimbaweans were delighted with Mugabe when he came to power. Now that he’s destroyed their infrastructure and gotten rid of the folks who were feeding the nation it’s up the Zim people themselves to rise up and get rid of him.

  • “The entire Redemptorist order didn such a case, the law would tell the priest that his vow of poverty was none of its concern, that it certainly didn’t trump his child support obligations, and that he’d better find the money one way or another and pay it, or else go to jail for contempt of court.  If that would require him to leave the order (thus violating his vows), the law’s attitude would be:  too bad, so sad.

    (BTW, the law should have set his child-support obligations based on his earning capacity, not his actual earnings.  Of course, the potential earnings of a guy with a seminary degree may be no better than those of a 21-year-old with a B.A. in art history.  He’d probably be able to earn the salary of an editorial assistant for a magazine publisher, or of a barista at Starbucks.)

  • Good theory, but then what about the fact that the woman was impregnated while Uribe was carrying out his duties as an agent of the order and the archdiocese? Isn’t there a negligent oversight claim?

    And in the end, didn’t the judge rule that the order had to pay the money? How does that jibe with your explanation?

  • “what about the fact that the woman was impregnated while Uribe was carrying out his duties as an agent of the order and the archdiocese? Isnknows that white people should have no rights in Africa, no matter how far back their roots go. Of course, those efficient farms that formed the backbone of the Zimbabwe breadbasket are now unable to feed even the people who were unjustly granted those lands.

    And once Mugabe was done destroying the farming industry, he turned his sights on other citizens of his country. Poor neighborhoods in cities around the country are being demolished with no regard for the people living there. In actions reminiscent of the orderly but lifeless streets of North Korea, Mugabe’s vision of order would get rid of the unsightly masses of poor people as part of his urban renewal plan.

    It’s no surprise that it was the churches that began taking in people turned out of their homes, but we can’t have that under Robert Mugabe. Now the churches are being targeted.

    Religious sources in Bulawayo told The Tablet that, since 20 July, police had been clearing the churches of the internally displaced people and moving them to Helensvale Farm, some 20 miles from the city centre. Within two days, the army had begun moving in to clear the place. The Minister of Local Government and Public Housing told state media it was closing the country

    I’m supposed to feel sorry for these people, and I do.  But we can’t save the world.  Only Christ can do that.  Meanwhile our senior citizens have to decide whether to buy medicine or food, and our young families are so burdened with taxes that it has become impossible for mothers to stay home and mother.  I would like to see the government put a little more effort to the poverty and destruction of families at home for a change.  And my interest is sparked much more by religious injustice in Canada than by the same thing on another continent.  No offense intended, Dom.

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