Belief Beat

Personally and professionally, interfaith marriage issues fascinate me, especially when families find creative ways to honor multiple sets of beliefs and traditions. Unfortunately, for every positive example of love conquering all, there are plenty of painful situations like the recent case of a Jewish mother and her Catholic ex-husband, publicly battling over the soul of their young child.

Despite custodial parent Rebecca Reyes’ objections, a Chicago judge has ruled that her ex-husband can take their 3-year-old daughter to church during his visitation times, which will now include every Christmas and Easter. (Mom gets her on Rosh Hashanah, Yom Kippur and Passover.) The same judge had recently denied Joseph Reyes’ request to take Ela to Easter services, while the case was being argued.

The gist of this story is more messy divorce than “holy war,” especially given that Joseph Reyes had his daughter baptized behind his ex-wife’s back and instigated much of the media coverage. Hopefully, this decision has now resolved the uncomfortably public conflict, but I have a feeling we haven’t heard the end of this — especially since Passover and Easter overlap again next year. (I suppose it could be worse: at least Ela is a girl, so circumcision hasn’t factored into this conflict, as it did in an Oregon divorce case a few years ago.)

For more on the case, some links:

What do you think? Share your thoughts in the Comments section below.

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