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Unprotected Consequences

posted by awelborn

It was only one phrase, but it raised hackles here…and in other places as well.

An archdiocese blaming a woman for having "unprotected intercourse."

Of course it’s the Redemptorist Deadbeat Father story we’re talking about. And strange bedfellows – protected, I hope – this story makes, from Kissling to Novak to …

Levada was on vacation and unavailable to comment on the controversial legal stance, but the attorney who came up with it, Richard J. Kuhn, said he wrote Levada’s answer to the complaint strictly from a "common sense" legal perspective, without regard to Catholic teachings.

However, Kuhn, an outside attorney who was hired by the archdiocese to handle the case, questions whether Levada ever saw the document. "I doubt that the archbishop would have gotten a copy of the pleading," he said.

He said his best recollection about the proceeding was that he worked exclusively with the risk management department for the Archdiocese of Portland.

Kuhn said the defense he raised was probably based on his suspicion that Collopy got pregnant to keep Uribe out of the priesthood. "The archbishop shouldn’t be criticized for something I did that didn’t have anything to do with Catholic doctrine," Kuhn said. "It would be a different story if we sat down together and said, ‘Let’s do this.’ "

The Portland archdiocese also doubts that Levada was closely involved. "We understand that the attorney handling the case did not speak with Archbishop Levada on this issue, and that the archbishop had no input," said Bud Bunce, the archdiocese’s director of communication. But the fact that Levada may not have approved a legal argument filed under his name troubled some.

"Whether a bishop likes it or not, he has ultimate responsibility for a legal argument made on his behalf or upon behalf of his diocese," said Father Richard McBrien, a theology professor at the University of Notre Dame. "Archbishop Levada would have — or certainly should have — known what his lawyers were arguing on his behalf."

Donohue, of the Catholic League, added, "At the very least, [there was] a certain degree of carelessness on the part of the archdiocese" for allowing the argument to go forward.

It’s to be expected. You get in deep legal messes borne of sin, and your primary goal in legal action is to save your fiduciary skin, so you get sharp lawyers who really don’t give a flip about Catholic moral precepts.

But we know that already from how they’ve historically treat victims, don’t we?



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jane M

posted August 3, 2005 at 10:27 pm


I get to be first to say …McBrien and Donohue on the same page!! Just a measure of how seriously whacked this case was/is.



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Stewie

posted August 3, 2005 at 10:39 pm


So now Prof. McBrien claims to be an expert in the law too?



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Bellarmino

posted August 4, 2005 at 12:42 am


Yes, of course, let’s attack McBrien, who has so much to do with this case, because the obvious object of our disaffection (Levada) is off limits. Please.
McBrien is, I admit, a horse’s ass, but let’s not pretend this is about HIM. It’s about a bad priest, and the crappy bishop who protected him. A bishop who is now, by the way, Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. Ill omens, indeed.



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Robin

posted August 4, 2005 at 5:36 am


As a management-employment lawyer, I believe that Levada never saw the document and probably didn’t even know that a public statement on “his” behalf was forthcoming.
In fact, I doubt that Levada knew much about this at all until the story blew up in the media.
“Risk management” lawsuits generally don’t make it that far up the chain. This type of case would probably have been handled by relatively cut-rate counsel retained by the Archdiocesan insurance company (not incompetent counsel, mind you, but very low hourly rates, which does sometimes affect quality). I suspect that neither the lawyer nor the “Risk Management Department” was savvy enough to even think beyond winning the lawsuit. And, “Risk Management” probably didn’t see a need to bother the Archbishop’s pretty little head about such a trivial [sic] matter.
Admittedly, a cut-rate defense lawyer who was an orthodox Catholic would still never have issued such a statement.
Moreover, even a non-Catholic or non-orthodox Catholic should have had an ear for how insensitive and un-politically correct it would be to attack a single mother for not using “protection.”
But let’s not be too hard on Levada. I agree that the statement stinks, and I’m glad the woman is ultimately going to get her money.
I would like to know how old Mr. Kuhn is and how many years he’s been in practice. My guesses would be about 27 and 5. Not nearly enough to see the bigger picture.



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Dan Crawford

posted August 4, 2005 at 5:39 am


“you get sharp lawyers who really don’t give a flip about Catholic moral precept.”
Unfortunately, you also get clerics wearing purple and black who really don’t give a flip about Catholic moral precepts eager to accommodate them. Why is it that bishops and priests so often have people running to their defense when there shouldn’t even be a question about their behavior?



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Jim

posted August 4, 2005 at 6:26 am


I read on another blog that the pleading was “verified”, i.e., signed under oath by Levada. I haven’t been able to check that out, but if true, it’s not good.



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Anna

posted August 4, 2005 at 6:35 am


It just seems so irrelevant to me whether the parents of the child used “protection” or not. The very simple facts are
a) The child exists.
b) It has two living parents.
c) It needs to be financial support.
How can anyone argue against that?



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Rod Dreher

posted August 4, 2005 at 7:37 am


Whether or not Levada saw the document, he is responsible for it. It was issued under his authority. No lawyer would have drafted such a loathsome provision if he thought it would be rejected by the man he represented.
I am reminded of Msgr. Robert Rehkemper, formerly a top official of the Dallas diocese, who bore key responsibility for putting pedophile Rudy Kos into parishes. After the trial, which the diocese lost massively, Rehkemper lashed out at parents of Kos’s victims, saying that they were “not taking enough responsibility when their children were raped by priests.” Moreover, those slutty little boys “knew what was right and what was wrong. Anybody who reaches the age of reason shares responsibility for what they do. So that makes all of us responsible after we reach the age of six or seven.”
Or consider the actions of Bishop (now Cardinal) Edward Egan when he was bishop of Bridgeport, and having to defend the diocese against sex abuse lawsuits. This article is a good one to read on the subject of bishops’ ruthlessness against victims in lawsuits. But here’s the money quotes re: Egan:
Economus draws parallels between the lawsuits pending against Geoghan and what he refers to as ” the landmark cases ” involving the now-suspended priest Raymond Pcolka in Bridgeport, Connecticut. The Pcolka story has tarnished the Diocese of Bridgeport as the Geoghan scandal has the Archdiocese of Boston. Since 1993, one victim after another has relayed sordid tales of rape and sodomy at the hands of this priest. All told, 17 lawsuits were brought against him and his superiors, including New York’s Edward Cardinal Egan, who holds perhaps the Church’s highest-profile position in the United States and was the presiding bishop in Bridgeport at the time. (The Pcolka cases spawned a mass of lawsuits against five other diocesan priests and officials.) Church leaders in Bridgeport, like those in Boston, put up a bruising battle. Egan ” was as ruthless as Law, ” Economus says. ” He fought these cases tooth and nail. ”
When the Bridgeport firm Tremont and Sheldon filed negligence complaints on behalf of two Pcolka victims in January 1993, lawyers for the Church had a swift response. ” They called us, ” says Jason Tremont, whose late father, Paul Tremont, represented the plaintiffs. ” They threatened to sue the victims for slander. “
The threat fell apart as soon as 15 additional Pcolka victims joined the litigation. But rather than work to accommodate them, the diocese threw up barriers. Its lawyers tried to dismiss the complaints, arguing that the Church had no reason to suspect Pcolka of sexual misconduct. Officials then delayed testimony, had documents sealed, defied court orders, and stonewalled proceedings through restraining orders and other legal devices. ” If there was opportunity to file a motion and slow down discovery, ” Tremont explains, ” Church officials did it. ”
In 1997, the Church waged its most creative legal defense yet. During a New Haven trial involving abuse allegations against a Stamford priest, then-bishop Egan was called as a witness. Testifying by videotape, he contended that the Bridgeport diocese could not be held liable for any sexual misconduct because priests are like independent contractors. ” We all went nuts with that, ” Economus recalls — prompting a quick retraction from the bishop. ” To clear up any misunderstanding, ” Egan wrote in a September 4, 1997, letter to parishioners, ” I need to add that, for personal income tax purposes only, priests … are considered … self-employed independent contractors. This, however, does not mean that a priest is a so-called ‘independent contractor’ for any other purpose…. Moreover, the Bishop is responsible for the overall administration and spiritual care of the Diocese. ”
Despite this nod to responsibility, it would be three more years before lawyers for the Church broached a settlement. By then, Egan had been promoted to head the Archdiocese of New York — the largest Catholic district in the nation. In March 2001, just months after Egan had left Connecticut, the Pcolka cases were settled for a reported $15 million. (Approximately 10 lawsuits against other priests were included in the agreement.) The Bridgeport diocese issued a statement in which Church leaders apologized to the victims, and admitted that some of their claims were true. The conciliatory tone ” was totally opposite the legal strategy, ” Tremont notes. ” We endured eight years of ridiculous actions by the Church to thwart the truth. “



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RP Burke

posted August 4, 2005 at 8:14 am


A priest from our diocese told me that the priests are now being treated as if they were employees, no longer contractors.
There are IRS special rules for clergy so that housing allowances (like living in the rectory or, for Protestants, the parsonage) are not subject to income tax.
But the gall of Egan, who is a canon lawyer himself, to claim that his butt was covered because priests — subject to a religious promise of obedience to him — were somehow independent of him is at once appalling and typical.



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Lynn Gazis-Sax

posted August 4, 2005 at 9:03 am


I’ll freely admit that I don’t know enough about lawsuits to know how far risk management lawsuits made it up the chain. But what I do know is this: Dioceses have a responsibility to have any legal responses looked over by somebody who actually cares to avoid reprehensible arguments like “she’s responsible because she didn’t use birth control properly.” If the bishop can’t oversee that himself, he needs to trust it to someone who can, not to just any old lawyer. Because the argument really is reprehensible, coming from a Catholic diocese. Frankly, I wish it would get laughed out of court often enough that all lawyers would stop making it, but at least Catholic Church-appointed lawyers shouldn’t be doing so.



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anon

posted August 4, 2005 at 9:14 am


I’m not sure I understand the uproar here. I don’t think the church’s statement implies that the church thinks she should have used birth control — I’m sure that the church thinks that she (and the seminarian) shouldn’t have had sex outside marriage at all. But if someone comes into court and tries to get money not from the person who got her pregnant but from that perons’ employer (the church) — if in other words, the woman claims that the church should be financially responsible for their actions — I don’t see why the church shouldn’t be able to respond that she is responsible for her own actions. Isn’t the church’s statement here just a variation on the old line that “sin makes you stupid” and you shouldn’t be able to collect money from third parties for your own stupidity? (To put it another way, would it really have made a big difference if the church had said instead that the woman had “engaged in intercourse during her fertile period”?)



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Patrick Rothwell

posted August 4, 2005 at 9:37 am


I agree with anon. I do not think it is any more reprehensible for the Archdiocese to asser this defense than if a diocese defended itself from a woman who claimed to be raped by a priest by arguing that the sex was consensual. The real problem is with atmospherics and perceptions. Contra Rod Dreher and others, I certainly think that the Archdiocese is entitled to assert every viable defense against a lawsuit. The real question is whether the costs of the defense in terms of public perception, PR, the so-called “appearance of scandal,” etc. outweighs the benefits of the defense. It seems to me that, in this case, the lawyers and Archbishop Levada (or whoever in the Archdiocese was responsible for this) did not make the right call.



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Susan Peterson

posted August 4, 2005 at 9:48 am


This independent contractor thing means that if a priest wants to be in the Social Security system he has to pay both the employee and the employer part of the payroll tax. His taxes aren’t automatically deducted from his paycheck and reported on a W2; he has to do all this himself. This fiction saves the dioceses on payroll costs and administrative costs, but doesn’t seem fair to me, since priests are in no way independent, have to go where they are sent, etc.
Susan Peterson



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Regina

posted August 4, 2005 at 9:57 am


“Donohue, of the Catholic League, added, ‘At the very least, [there was] a certain degree of carelessness on the part of the archdiocese’ for allowing the argument to go forward.”
Donohue should talk about “carelessness”. The Catholic League released a joint statement with New York rabbis against blending Christmas & Hanukkah last year that called Jesus “the Christian Messiah”. That’s far more egregiously “careless” than implying the woman was trying to entrap the soon to be ordained man. She might have been trying to do that; Jesus is not, never was and never will be just for Christians.



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BenYachov(Jim Scott 4th)

posted August 4, 2005 at 10:10 am


Regina,
Your way off base here. OF course Jesus is for everybody (ESPECALLY JEWS) but logically the Jews making the joint statement with the Catholic League DON’T identify Jesus as their Messiah (even though he is) why would you want to force them to acknowlege him against their will? Besides if we say Jesus is the Christian Messiah it doesn’t logically follow we are saying he is not anyone else’s Messiah.
Does that mean if I say Jesus is fully Man I am denying he is also fully God? That makes no sense.



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c matt

posted August 4, 2005 at 10:11 am


I also have to side with those who see this “defense” as not necessarily implying she should have used birth control. A common defense asserted by any defendant is contributory cause by the complainant. It happens in every lawsuit from car wrecks to stock swindles. It seems the defense in this case was merely asking the court to take both parties’ actions into account in making any determination. Pretty standard stuff. True, it could have been worded a bit more diplomatically given the profile of the client. I also find it highly unlikely that the bishop had any input in this particular pleading. With a large organizational client, folks at the top hardly ever see pleadings before they get filed.



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Lynn Gazis-Sax

posted August 4, 2005 at 10:14 am


It’s reprehensible because “she should have used birth control” does not just suggest that the pair who had sex bear more responsibility than the church which should have supervised the seminarian better. That might or might not be a reasonable argument to put forward, depending on circumstances (it’s not always solely the pair having sex who are responsible, if fiduciary issues come into play, as in a psychiatrist/patient situation). But the mention of birth control in the argument suggests that, when a pair have sex, it’s the woman responsible for the pregnancy that results, and that the reason she’s the one responsible is that she has more reliable birth control methods available. And there are plenty of people who believe, already, that responsibility for pregnancy should work just that way.
And it’s reprehensible for the Church to ever be making such arguments. The Church should be on the side of people acknowledging that, hey, pregnancy sometimes results from sex, and taking responsibility accordingly. The Church should be on the side of fathers standing by their kids.
And yeah, “she had sex during her fertile period” would also be reprehensible, if it’s suggesting that NFP is something women are obligated to handle for men so that men never have to bother their heads about pregnancy.



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BenYachov(Jim Scott 4th)

posted August 4, 2005 at 10:18 am


The woman was an adult & had an affair with this seminarian & got pregnant. This Seminarian now a Priest owes this woman child support, naturally. However I don’t see why the Archdiocese must be made to pay in this case. I guess this women senses the Archdiocese has deeper pockets.
Hmmmmmmm? If a Librarian Tranee later turned Librarian got a woman pregnant should the NY public Library be forced to pay for it?
You all tell me.



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c matt

posted August 4, 2005 at 10:18 am


I would also be surprised if Levada would have verified the answer. And certainly, I would doubt that this particular defense would need to be verified (and how would he have personal knowledge of whether or not she used protection anyway?). I don’t practice in Oregon (or wherever), but I have practiced in enough other states to get the general gist that verification is only used for defenses such as “I was sued in the wrong capacity” (eg, sued as individual when in fact was acting as trustee) or “that’s not my signature on the contract.”
Usually you get some underling to do the verification (one whose deposition you would not want to fight down the road). So I doubt seriously they would have had Levada verify it. But, I could be wrong.



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c matt

posted August 4, 2005 at 10:25 am


Ben does bring up a good point. If I had an affair with some woman I picked up at a bar, should my employer have to pay child support? If my son gets a girl pregnant while living at The University dorm, should The University be responsible for child support?



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anon

posted August 4, 2005 at 10:29 am


Lynn,
You’re missing the point entirely — the issue isn’t whether the woman or man is responsible for the pregnancy but whether the church is. If a man were to get a nun pregnant and somehow the man took reponsibility for raising the child, and he then sued the church for child support, I think the church would be just as justified in saying the same thing in response to the man — this is your stupidity, not ours.



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Der Tommissar

posted August 4, 2005 at 10:38 am


Richard J. Kuhn, said he wrote Levada’s answer to the complaint strictly from a “common sense” legal perspective, without regard to Catholic teachings.
Shoot. me. now.
This is even worse than the original statement.



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Nancy

posted August 4, 2005 at 10:39 am


I wouldn’t exactly equate a Roman Catholic diocese with the NY public library. However lofty the goal of keeping a lot of books might be, the NY public library has never to my knowledge held itself forth as the sole vehicle of eternal salvation, instituted by Christ.
Of course the archbishop is responsible for papers that go to court representing his diocese. That’s a no-brainer. It is customary to blame the lawyer when the client gets caught in an ugly position, and maybe some people believe it even.



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Nancy

posted August 4, 2005 at 10:41 am


Der Tommissar, our relationship is in tatters. Here I had you all figured out as someone it was safe to oppose, and you keep making too much sense. Stop it now.



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Regina

posted August 4, 2005 at 10:52 am


Ben,
I’m only off base if God’s promise to send THE Messiah was off base. I’m only off base if Christ did not come FOR ALL. I’m only off base if there is more than one Son of God.
I don’t want to “force” anyone to say anything. The fact is that Christ is the Messiah; there is only one and it is Christ. This is what the Bible teaches, what Christ said and what Christians believe. Sorry if that is news to you. As a spokesman for the Catholic faith, Donohue should refrain from negating 2000 years of Christian theology.
My point about Donohue’s criticism of “carelessness” was that a joint statement (to the extent that joint statement was even necessary) could have been released saying Christmas and Hanukkah are separate in meaning and those meanings are not to be blurred. There was no need whatsoever for the offending term to be in the statement.
BTW, Jesus didn’t come “especially” but “initially” to Jews.



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BenYachov(Jim Scott 4th)

posted August 4, 2005 at 11:07 am


Your out there Regina. Based on your non-logic. If I say Jesus is fully man & say nothing else THAT MUST MEAN I deny Jesus is God. If I say Jesus, God the Son is the God of Abraham THAT MUST MEAN I deny Jesus is the God of everybody else as well besides Abraham.
Your not thinking madam your emoting.
Jesus IS the Christian Messiah. Merely stating that denies nothing. So your charge again Bill is bumpkis.



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Pat Gonzalez

posted August 4, 2005 at 11:12 am


Legal/theological glosses aside, the whole Urribe mess boils down to this: man & woman, have affair, conceive child, man dumps woman because he doesn’t want the “inconvenience”. Happens all the time, unfortunately. Much more reprehensible in this case because man is a seminarian who’s later ordained a priest WITH FULL KNOWLEDGE of the affair by his superiors. Church tries to cover up, 12 years later the whole thing comes back to bite them you-know-where. The most damning thing about all of this is Urribe’s adamant refusal to acknowledge his son, even though this child has made several attempts to contact him. To me, it indicates the lack of accountability and intelligence of this idiot — as Mark Shea says, “sin makes you stupid” — Urribe is a prime example of that. Yes, priests are human, and yes, they sin, but this man is saying, in effect, (by his actions), “Hey lady, this kid is your problem. You deal with it.” Even in a lay context, this is morally abhorrent. Given who Urribe is, his attitude is downright diabolical. If I were bishop, I’d defrock him so fast his head would spin, and make damn sure he supports this child. That said, I’m glad that the Mom will get some support. As to the time lag between the child’s birth and this lawsuit, maybe she was just scared, or maybe it finally dawned on her to stop acting like a victim and bring down this SOB. How can he even think about celebrating Mass and touching the consecrated Host. Eew … revolting. God preserve us from any more reptiles like “Father” (retch) Urribe.



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reluctant penitent

posted August 4, 2005 at 11:21 am


Someone at the Archdiocese was having social intercourse unprotected by moral decency. And why should either the Archdiocese or Uribe’s order pay for any of this? They should have told Uribe that if he wants to be allowed into full-time ministry he must have a paying job until his child has finished college. He could have continued to live with the order and to remain faithful to his vow of poverty by giving all of his earnings away–to the mother of the child. Such a solution would have set the right sort of example to young men. Instead, he chose to hide behind the Bishop’s cassock like the worst sort of moral coward.



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ajb

posted August 4, 2005 at 12:08 pm


“so you get sharp lawyers who really don’t give a flip about Catholic moral precepts.”
It’s not the lawyers. It’s that damn dirty Harvard with its filthy Boston liberalism. . and Senator Kerry . . . and Kennedy. . . and Lee Harvey Oswald. You know, it takes a family.



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Joan Rogers

posted August 4, 2005 at 12:20 pm


Ben Yachov:
Jesus is the Messiah. Christians recognize that. Others do not. The offense could have been avoided by saying “the birth of Christ, whom Christians regard as the Messiah”. That would have been careful, accurate and unobjectionable by anyone.
“The Christian Messiah” says something else entirely.
The fact that you cannot see the distinction does not alter the fact that the distinction is obvious.
As for your “God of Abraham” distraction and straw man, saying “the God of Abraham” does in fact specifically refer to a particular God as opposed to other gods; there are no other messiahs.
The point is that all this could have been avoided by care that was not taken in formulating the Catholic League statement.



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Nancy

posted August 4, 2005 at 12:42 pm


reluctant is right on here.
My personal opinion is that this man should never have been ordained. The Order (and the diocese?) knew perfectly well what the situation was, that he had a child, and they didn’t care or thought they could get away with it or something. Why should people who contribute to the Redemptorists or people who contribute to the diocese support this man’s child? He should support his child, right?
If we as a Christian community ordain him anyway, then we’ve undertaken that responsibility, but why should we? The guy should be laicized without delay and told to get a job.



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BenYachov(Jim Scott 4th)

posted August 4, 2005 at 12:56 pm


Joan both you and Regena are emoting not reasoning. My analogy stands. My reasoning stands unchallenged.
>”The Christian Messiah” says something else entirely.
I reply: I says what it says unless you want to read into it in order to bust chops.
If a Muslim signed onto a statement that refered to Mohammed as “the Muslim Prophet” THAT doesn’t logically mean the Muslims signing it are denying their obvious belief that Mohammed is according to their belief a Prophet for everybody.
You and Regina are just spliting hairs & busting chops.



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Regina

posted August 4, 2005 at 1:12 pm


“The American President” refers to the president of the United States as opposed to the president of France or the president of Chile.
“The Christian Messiah” suggests that there are messiahs for non-Christians.
My understanding of the big flap last December is that the NY Board of Rabbis came up with the statement and Donohue, on behalf of The Catholic League, signed on. A careful reader would have seen that that term was a mis-statement and had it changed or deleted. It wasn’t needed to make the point about “Chrismukah”.
Actually, Jesus is the Messiah of Israel, recognized as such at the Presentation in the Temple, but, of course, the rabbis would object to that term. Donohue should have objected to “Christian Messiah” and took a lot of heat, and some unrenewed memberships because he didn’t. After all, he is defending Catholicism from misrepresentations.
He is sometimes “careless” about very important things and that was my point.



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BenYachov(Jim Scott 4th)

posted August 4, 2005 at 1:37 pm


>The American President” refers to the president of the United States as opposed to the president of France or the president of Chile.
“The Christian Messiah” suggests that there are messiahs for non-Christians.
I reply: Apples & Oranges. The President is not a religious figure.
>The Christian Messiah” suggests that there are messiahs for non-Christians.
I reply: Or to those who have a slight amount of common sense it means the Messiah as believed by Christians.



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Abu Doodoo (Rod Dreher 1st)

posted August 4, 2005 at 2:05 pm


How did this thread get hijacked?
Hey, Ben Bobber, I know you like to play at being Hebraic and all, but if you’re going to amuse yourself with that charade, please get your Yiddish expressions straight: it’s not “bumpkis,” but bupkis (or some other variation, none of which involve the consonant “m”.) You are, perhaps unsurprisingly, thinking of the word “bumpkin.” What is particularly embarrassing for you is that I am having to correct your poor Yiddish from my perch two blocks south of Dealey Plaza, in Dallas; you, however, live in New York City. It’s as if you had to teach me how to say and spell “y’all.”



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BenYachov(Jim Scott 4th)

posted August 4, 2005 at 2:22 pm


Rod,
You know fully well I can’t spell & have made no secret about it. Indeed I revell in it.
BTW Yiddish isn’t hebrew. It’s German based & only spoken by Jews from Europe. Original Middle eastern Jews know nothing about it.
But I wouldn’t be embarrassed if I was you over your ignorance of this fact.



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Simon

posted August 4, 2005 at 3:11 pm


I don’t know how the thread got hijacked (nor do I know a word of Yiddish), but BenYachov is certainly right that there is no problem with the Catholic league signing onto a joint statement with a Jewish group referring to the “Christian Messiah.” The plain meaning of the term in that context is “the person Christians believe to be the Messiah.” After all, the Jews signing the statement presumably don’t believe Jesus is the Messiah for anybody, Christians or otherwise.
A more important point, though, is that the statement Regina is concerned about was signed by the Catholic League, which is nothing more than a nonprofit lay group. The reference to “unprotected sex” in the legal pleading discussed here is much more troubling precisely because that pleading was submitted on behalf of the Archdiocese of Portland, which is supposed to know a thing or two about Catholic doctrine and the distinction between right from wrong.
On the previous thread discussing this “unprotected sex” language, I speculated that the Archbishop never even read the pleading. That is probably true. But that doesn’t excuse him from ultimate responsibility for what goes out over his name. The whole thing is simply outrageous.



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Jennifer

posted August 4, 2005 at 3:12 pm


Permit a naive post, but after reading Pat Gonzales’ post calling Fr. Urribe an SOB, I have to ask: at what point are priests’ sins forgiveable before ordination? I do not, for one minute, believe that Fr. Urribe’s actions as a seminarian were tolerable and this was made even more complicated by the fact that his actions resulted in a pregnancy, but this was how many years ago and everyone still thinks he should be defrocked and sent into shame? Is there any evidence that since then he has been anything but a decent priest, maybe even better than some of the other dissenting priests who have been described on this board as helping to lead people away from the Truth through their activism against church teachings?
If I have to be the lone voice of sympathy for this priest, then I will do so. I will give him the benefit of the doubt that he made a mistake and that he hasn’t made that same mistake since being ordained. Maybe he shouldn’t have been ordained. But there are plenty of other priests out there who have “lived” before priesthood. Fr. Urribe’s problem is that his sin led to the birth of a child. Is that why he is unforgivable for this? If a man is truly called to the priesthood by God and is willing to fulfill that calling with obedience and repents from his previous sins, then why should he not be allowed to continue his ministry? I would not be against Fr. Urribe being asked to work outside his ministry to earn money to support his son, but why defrocked?
I hesitate to post this since frankly there are some seriously mean and spiteful posters out there who will probably insult my intelligence in responding to this post, but I’d really like to know – is Fr. Urribe unforgivable? Does the past 15 years or however long of service to the church mean nothing in the light of sins he committed as a seminarian? You know what – ? There are priests in ministry today in my diocese who have been given a sabbatical after discovering affairs with parishioners, given psychological treatment, and then put back into ministry. Their sins are forgiven and they are given another chance.
What am I missing?



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BenYachov(Jim Scott 4th)

posted August 4, 2005 at 3:35 pm


Should a man who is not a virgin before ordination ever be made a Priest?
Should a man who has repented his acts of fornication be allowed to become a Priest?
I don’t know.
Should a Priest who has fathered a Child out of Wedlock support said child? Yes.
Should the Archdiocese? No.
I don’t believe legally he can assert “freedom of religion” because he has taken a “vow of poverty”. Plus I’m certain Canon Law doesn’t allow people to use Vows of Poverty to avoid paying their debts. Otherwise every idiot who owes somebody money would take a vow of poverty.
Does this child in fact belong to Fr. Urribe? Is that the man’s excuse? I think genetic testing might be in order.



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Abu Doodoo (Rod Dreher 1st)

posted August 4, 2005 at 3:38 pm


Bibbity-Bob: BTW Yiddish isn’t hebrew. It’s German based & only spoken by Jews from Europe. Original Middle eastern Jews know nothing about it.
But I wouldn’t be embarrassed if I was you over your ignorance of this fact.

My reference to your pseudo-Hebraism is not over your use of Yiddish, which most people know is a regional amalgam of German and Hebrew, but actually concerns your appropriation of the sobriquet “Ben Yachov,” which, for a guy from Queens who is neither of Hebraic origin, nor plays a Jew on TV, is pretty amusing. Even bumpkiny, after a fashion.



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BenYachov(Jim Scott 4th)

posted August 4, 2005 at 3:44 pm


Rod,
Well I don’t know why it would be amusing? A guy in a dress is amusing. Having a Jewish nickname hardly sounds funny to me. But hey if it makes you laugh at least it nice to know you aren’t a total sourpuss.
PS. Did I spell “sourpuss” right?



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BenYachov(Jim Scott 4th)

posted August 4, 2005 at 3:46 pm


>pseudo-Hebraism
BTW, Why would Ben Yachov be a pseudo (false)-Hebraism? It means Son of Yachov(i.e. James). Well James is my Father’s name. It’s on his diploma. I’ve seen it. Really.



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DarwinCatholic

posted August 4, 2005 at 3:55 pm


I suppose that instead you could be “pseudo-Irish” and call yourself Jameson, which is actually pretty good whisky…



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Paul Pfaffenberger

posted August 4, 2005 at 3:57 pm


Jennifer asks …
“at what point are priests’ sins forgiveable before ordination?”
That’s easy – after he confesses and is contrite and completes his penance. Maybe that has happened, but I have not seen any evidence of a confession or a contrite heart.
Not meaning to be trite here – of course the sacramental forgiveness of his sins is none of our business. But in terms of “forgiving” priests in these public issues, I would look for a contrite heart, or some acknowlegement of the harm done and a sincere desire to make it right. Those same things God asks of us.



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Simon

posted August 4, 2005 at 4:03 pm


Let me just stipulate that I don’t think there’s any serious basis to find the Archdiocese of Portland liable at all here. Uribe was a seminarian with the Redemptorist order who just happened to be working at a Portland parish when he got Miss Collopy pregnant. The Redemptorists do have a moral responsibility to care for the child, and they should have a legal responsibility as well: They’re the ones who accepted Uribe for the priesthood, and their vow of poverty is the reason he has no legal assets to support the child.
But the liability issue has been discussed elsewhere. Even if the Archdiocese rightly regarded Miss Collopy’s lawsuit as an unwarranted search for “deep pockets”, the Archdiocese had no business allowing a pleading to be submitted in the Archbishop’s name that says (or at least hints very strongly) that “she should have used contraception.”
Disgraceful.



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FiliusScoti(Jim Scott 4th)

posted August 4, 2005 at 4:06 pm


Well Darwin,
Scots are an Irish Tribe from which Scotland gets it’s name. Since I am of Scotish origin I would also be very distantly Irish. Scots are the kin of the Irish. Much like Jews & Arabs.



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IbnYacob(Jim Scott 4th)

posted August 4, 2005 at 4:12 pm


I don’t think the Redemptorists have a responsibility here but Fr. Urribe is responsible. He can resign from his order & get a job. He can also get a dispensation from his vow of poverty. OTOH that assumes his vow of poverty prohibits him from making money to pay off a debt.
I’ve always assumed a vow of poverty means you can’t own anything. So let Fr. Urribe give his whole paycheck to this woman if he is in fact the Father of her child.



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Kirk

posted August 4, 2005 at 4:12 pm


We may never know whether Abp Levada read these documents before they were filed in Court, but he certainly must be aware of the storm of controversy surrounding them by now.
Wouldn’t it be nice if he were to issue a statement taking accountability for it and say: “mea culpa, mea culpa, mea …”?
Can’t we at least expect that of him?



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Simon

posted August 4, 2005 at 4:19 pm


Maybe he shouldn’t have been ordained. But there are plenty of other priests out there who have “lived” before priesthood. Fr. Urribe’s problem is that his sin led to the birth of a child. Is that why he is unforgivable for this?
Jennifer, who said he is unforgivable, much less that he is unforgivable because he fathered a child out of wedlock?
No Christian believes that anyone is “unforgivable” no matter what he’s done. But forgivable does not mean ordainable. And it should be common sense that a guy who just fathered a child a couple months ago should not be ordained. Unfortunately, the Denver Province of the Redemptorists were bereft of common sense, so this man is now Father Uribe.
In any case, the objections raised here about Fr. Uribe’s conduct are not that he committed fornication — that’s between him, his confessor, and God.
The problem is his ongoing apparent failure to adequately support that child. And the causes of that failure are his insistence on going forward with ordination when he had a newborn baby to take care of, and the Redemptorists’ even more foolish determination that a guy in his situation was a great candidate for the priesthood.



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IbnYacob(Jim Scott 4th)

posted August 4, 2005 at 4:20 pm


If my lawyer said something I didn’t approve of I wouldn’t apologize. Why should I?



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IbnYacob(Jim Scott 4th)

posted August 4, 2005 at 4:23 pm


Cleary they shouldn’t have ordained him a Priest with a possible child out of wedlock. It’s like ordaining a person with SSA. They are not fit for that office.



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Abu Doodoo (Rod Dreher 1st)

posted August 4, 2005 at 4:44 pm


Who is Cleary, and how did he get mixed up in this? It’s that dadgum Irish mafia from Boston again. They turn up everywhere. Thank you for your diligence, Bongo-Wongo. Good man.
(If there’s a way to trivialize this issue any further, by cracky, I’ll find it!)



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Golda Myhair

posted August 4, 2005 at 4:47 pm


“it takes a family”
It sure does. Even that idiot Hillary Clinton knows that.
“Robert Royal, president of the Faith & Reason Institute, a conservative think tank in Washington, D.C., said the argument could have been framed from a Catholic perspective without losing any legal punch or resorting to being part of society’s “condom mania.”
“Lawyers like these working for the church disgust me,” Royal said. “It seems to me they could have achieved the same goal by saying that the woman in question was equally ‘responsible’ for having sex when she knew it could result in pregnancy.”
This is how the Catholic Corleones protect one another. If only the lawyers had legally punched the woman and protected the deadbeat dad by saying she knew that having sex could result in pregnancy. Since she didn’t do the responsible thing, Levada’s “goals” could have been “achieved”.
(All in the Family, episode 433)



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Dudley

posted August 4, 2005 at 5:08 pm


From reading his posts, I’d guess that Yachov/Scott/Golda et al isn’t Hebraic, Scottish, or Irish but is a monkey hitting the keyboard in a lab somewhere engaged in an experiment to see how often random constructions make sense. Poor monkey, chained to a keyboard. Based on the results, I hope the funding isn’t public.



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Nancy

posted August 4, 2005 at 6:18 pm


Does this child in fact belong to Fr. Urribe? Is that the man’s excuse? I think genetic testing might be in order.
Genetic testing was done, years ago. Fr. Uribe is the father.
The problem is his ongoing apparent failure to adequately support that child. And the causes of that failure are his insistence on going forward with ordination when he had a newborn baby to take care of, and the Redemptorists’ even more foolish determination that a guy in his situation was a great candidate for the priesthood.
As Scott recognizes, we’re not talking about forgiveness here. We all forgive him, OK? But the child continues to need food, shelter and clothing, and his parents are equally responsible for that. If we take this man into religious life and pay him next to nothing, then we’ve assumed his obligations.
The little boy – now not so little – still has needs. His father is legally and morally responsible. More so than the diocese, the Order, or the taxpayers of Oregon.



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Nancy

posted August 4, 2005 at 6:19 pm


Kirk,
Levada could apologize. He hasn’t because he isn’t sorry.



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Zhou

posted August 4, 2005 at 6:25 pm


Not that two wrongs make a right, but another case involving an “unprotected” priest being sued from about the same time, 1993:

Lawsuit Alleges Priest Infected Man With AIDS Virus
Philadelphia Inquirer (09/08/93) P. A3
Denver–In what is the first case of its kind, a Denver man filed suit against a priest who allegedly infected him with HIV. Thomas Perea, 36, claims that Rev. Delbert Blong of the Diocese of Pueblo began sexually abusing him in 1971, and continued to do so until 1992. Perea, who is gay, believes Father Blong infected him because the sex acts with him were unprotected. The priest also allegedly admitted to Perea in February that he was HIV-positive, that two of his male partners were also infected, and that two others had died of AIDS. Perea, who tested positive for HIV in March, said that he had protected sex with other partners, all of whom tested negative. Perea filed the lawsuit in Boulder County District Court against Blong and the diocese, and is seeking jury trial and unspecified monetary damages.

From the Boulder Weekly:

Years before the Catholic Church abuse debacle hit the papers, Boulder Weekly investigated a troubling local example of the scandal. In “See no evil,” Carla B. Price wrote about how Rev. Delbert Blong in Alamosa had abused Boulder resident Thomas Perea for more than two decades, reportedly infecting him with HIV along the way. Price looked at the landmark lawsuit Perea filed in Boulder County against Blong and the Pueblo Diocese, which allegedly covered up knowledge that Blong was a pedophile during the 41 years he spent there, possibly causing countless other victims to be abused and infected by the priest.

His case is also mentioned in Black Collar Crimes of May 1995.
Rev. Delbert Blong died in the summer of 1999.
I wonder if “gay friendly” bishops or their diocesan Risk Management departments encourage their gay clergy to practice “protection.”



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Carol

posted August 4, 2005 at 6:38 pm


Thanks, Dudley, for changing my perspective on posts I’d found juvenile and idiotic. Now that I can see them as simian exploitation, I’m going to contribute a little something extra to the SPCA.



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Nancy

posted August 4, 2005 at 6:41 pm


If my lawyer said something I didn’t approve of I wouldn’t apologize. Why should I?
If my secretary makes a mistake, I apologize for it. Personally. Ditto my paralegal. I don’t mention them at all.
Why? Because it’s my job to supervise these people and correct any error they might make. And because it’s the act of a cad, if that isn’t too old-fashioned a word, to blame employees for mistakes which are properly mine, since I’m supposed to be in charge here. Remember President Truman? “The buck stops here.”?
If my lawyer says something I don’t approve of, I apologizie, because it was my job to review the papers submitted over my name. And it was Levada’s job.
What’s his position? That he’s not really in charge, and that everyone supposedly under his jurisdiction just runs around doing whatever comes into his or her head next? And this utter lack of administrative ability qualifies him for his new job how?
Everyone is so anxious to give this guy a break. Who’s to say he read the papers?
On the other hand, who’s to say he didn’t?



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Abu Doodoo (Rod Dreher 1st)

posted August 4, 2005 at 8:12 pm


Father Delbert um, Blong? If the wretch had ever impregnated a female — I know, I know, I’m just sayin’ — would their resulting son be known as Mr. Ben-Blong? If not, could we have called him that in the comboxes just because it sounds like a Pee-wee’s Playhouse character? Would Msgr. Cleary have agreed to baptize the child?
I love this thread all of a sudden!



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Lynn Gazis-Sax

posted August 4, 2005 at 8:38 pm


You’re missing the point entirely — the issue isn’t whether the woman or man is responsible for the pregnancy but whether the church is.
I’m missing the point entirely? I’m missing the point entirely? The lawyer is on record as saying that he made the argument about unprotected intercourse because he thought Stephanie Collopy got pregnant to entrap the priest. If the archdiocese had wanted to make an argument that the church wasn’t responsible for the pregnancy, all they had to do was argue that both Collopy and Uribe were responsible for their own decision to have sex. Not “unprotected sex.” Sex.
If a man were to get a nun pregnant and somehow the man took reponsibility for raising the child, and he then sued the church for child support, I think the church would be just as justified in saying the same thing in response to the man — this is your stupidity, not ours.
Oh, give me a break. I’m exactly the sort of feminist who thinks men and women are interchangeable well over 90% of the time. But men and women are not interchangeable where pregnancy is concerned. A legal argument that says “unprotected sex” is the problem is inherently a legal argument that it’s women’s job to make themselves infertile for men. That’s the nature of the beast. And promoting that kind of argument is inherently arguing against people being responsible for the pregnancies that naturally result from sex, and men being responsible enough to be fathers to their own children.
And I can’t believe that I have to explain this in the context of a Catholic archdiocese having made the argument. The Church, of all organizations, has no business having anything to do with a “she should have used birth control” argument.



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Lynn Gazis-Sax

posted August 4, 2005 at 8:42 pm


Donohue should talk about “carelessness”. The Catholic League released a joint statement with New York rabbis against blending Christmas & Hanukkah last year that called Jesus “the Christian Messiah”. That’s far more egregiously “careless” than implying the woman was trying to entrap the soon to be ordained man. She might have been trying to do that; Jesus is not, never was and never will be just for Christians.
Nobody, nobody doubts, because of that statement Donohue signed, that the Church believes that Jesus is the Messiah. A heck of a lot of people are doubting now that the Church means what it says about sex, because of that “unprotected” in that legal filing.
And, Stephanie Collopy’s character isn’t the issue here. Regardless of what her behavior was in her relationship with the seminarian, the archdiocese had no business promoting a “she should have used birth control” standard.



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Nancy

posted August 4, 2005 at 9:26 pm


Wait. The Archbishop just lost me here.
I thought that under Humanae Vitae we were none of us supposed to engage in what the Archbishop calls “protected sex.” Foolishly believing this, I had two children in my very late 30′s. Bad bad me.
Now it turns out, according to our new head of the Body to Determine Right Doctrine, that I made a dreadful mistake. If it was inconvenient for me to have those children I should have “protected” myself.
Note that the man has no responsibility here whatever. He’s something of a retarded child, I guess. Open to being “trapped” by the wily woman. A moron.
Being a moron by definition, why would anyone blame him for this? Or ask him to take some kind of responsibility? Really, we all must be nuts or something.



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Nancy

posted August 4, 2005 at 9:31 pm


Oh, get this too. Because this man is utterly unwilling to undertake to answer his own responsibilities, those who donate out of their hard-earned money to the Redemptorists or to the diocese are supposed to pick up the tab here.
Why?
Boot this creep out, like, yesterday. Tell him to get a real job.



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reluctant penitent

posted August 4, 2005 at 9:36 pm


I’m shvitzing from all the kvitchering in here, I’m going to challish! Now stop hocking me in chinik!



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anon

posted August 4, 2005 at 9:42 pm


Lynn,
Yes, you are missing the point, but since you seem to see everything only through the prism of gender, I don’t think further elaboration will be helpful.



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Rod Dreher

posted August 4, 2005 at 9:56 pm


Lynn: And I can’t believe that I have to explain this in the context of a Catholic archdiocese having made the argument. The Church, of all organizations, has no business having anything to do with a “she should have used birth control” argument.
That you have to explain it tells us a lot about why the American church got into this mess, and why it’s going to be a long and painful time before we dig ourselves out. Clericalism’s a bitch. The Methodists should have such mishegoss!



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Nancy

posted August 4, 2005 at 10:03 pm


Rod, you are right on, as usual.



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Nancy

posted August 4, 2005 at 10:09 pm


Yes, you are missing the point, but since you seem to see everything only through the prism of gender, I don’t think further elaboration will be helpful.
Ah yes, “anon”, coward that you are, it is clear to you that the woman is of course responsible for taking all precautions about pregnancy. Men…well, men… they just stick it in wherever, and who can blame them, or call them to be responsible, except those unfortunate souls who “see everything through the prism of gender.”
The secular society, however, sees it differently, anon. They have the odd idea that both parents should be financially responsible for the needs of a child.
How retrograde of them.



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anon

posted August 4, 2005 at 10:32 pm


Nancy,
You too are missing the point. As I said above, both the man AND the woman are equally responsible for any child they produce. To say that the woman had unprotected sex is not to say that only the woman is responsible; the man had unprotected sex too and therefore should he held responsible.
The point here is whether the church is responsible for the man’s actions, such that it has to pay money to the woman. The court, therefore, must balance the church’s responsiblity against the woman’s responsibility, and I don’t think it’s illegitimate for the church to point out that the woman assumed a big risk by having unprotected sex. That is not the same as saying that the man and woman should have used birht control. From a spiritual point of view, they were sinning merely by having sex outside marriage, and I honestly don’t know if, as a spiritual matter, the church views fornication with contraception as worse than just plain old fornication. But from a temporal perspective, fornication without contraception is really stupid, and if the woman is going to start suing the man’s employer for her own stupidity, I don’t think it’s unfair for the employer to point out that stupidity.



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HA

posted August 4, 2005 at 10:33 pm


No one denies that the archbishop should not have signed a statement based on bogus Catholicism (assuming that the meaning of the passage wasn’t indeed related to the allegation that the woman was purposely trying to get pregnant, as the lawyer who wrote the statement now claims.)
That being said, the absence of any retractions of previous statements made about Levada on this site is also pretty pathetic. In the last threads on this topic, the statement in question was taken as clear evidence of how the archbishop thinks. Here’s just two quotes:
“Thus do we have an insight into the character of the new Prefect of the CDF… This is sickening stuff — but of course evidence as to why Levada has risen in the Church hierarchy.”
“I don’t see the point of view of … hierarchs who say that the whole thing is the mom’s fault because she didn’t use contraception.”
Now we have the lawyer who wrote the statement in question saying that it’s doubtful that Levada even read the document – which should come as no surprise given that several people posted suspicions to that effect. The lawyer also says the statement was part of an allegation that the woman intentionally became pregnant. Does anybody therefore think that the above statements might have been just a little bit presumptuous?
Do I hear any apologies from any of you as to the previous insistence about what *must* have been in Levada’s head? No, what we’re getting now is about how he should have gone over the statement more carefully. Well, DUH. I think we have a consensus on that point. But failing to go over a legal statement – the overall intent of which was to make the very plausible claim that the responsibility for Fr. Uribe’s fecklessness is not the deep-pocketed archdiocese, given the circumstances – is a slightly different category of failing than having made those statements himself, something more than a few people were willing to assume.
If you can’t bring yourself to apologize for jumping to the wrong conclusion, aren’t the demands about how Levada needs to apologize just the slightest bit hypocritical?
And as for those disgusted by priests hiring lawyers who stonewall, threaten counter-suits, do their utmost to make the accusers seem like liars and sluts (even when they’re women and children) and use all the tricks up their sleeve to get their client off the hook – hey, welcome to the adversarial court system. As such systems go, it’s not the worst by a long shot. Perhaps this has something to do with St. Paul’s plea that courts be not used to settle this kind of matter. As it is, those who opt for trials should know that the laws are designed to apply to all defendants equally, even those wearing a collar or mitre (or yarmulke or turban for that matter). God forbid any one of you or your loved ones should be accused of some horrible crime, but if it happens, make sure your lawyer is willing to work the same shenanigans for you – if not, I suggest you dump him and find yourself another one.
I gotta travel tomorrow, so I’m going to leave it at that.



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Lynn Gazis-Sax

posted August 4, 2005 at 10:36 pm


Thank you, Rod! As for anon:
but since you seem to see everything only through the prism of gender
… where “everything” means “pregnancy and how it’s handled.” Yeah, I see pregnancy and fatherhood through the prism of gender. If you want to talk about, oh, feeding the hungry, clothing the homeless, and visiting those in prison, I’ll be happy to diminish my focus on “the prism of gender” for those issues. Likewise for political issues that pretty much impact both genders, such as, oh, the future of Social Security. But pregnancy and fatherhood have a heck of a lot to do with gender, and, you know what? I don’t even think I’m especially at odds with Church teaching in making that claim. Rather less at odds with Church teaching than a legal filing advocating that she should have used birth control.



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Nancy

posted August 4, 2005 at 11:24 pm


I am advised by a friend who is a Provincial of another Order (not the Reds) that when such a Provincial offers a man for ordination by the local bishop, certain representations must be made.
Among them, that the man is “free from impediments” and is of “good moral character.”
Either the Reds Provincial lied his head off in this case, or the bishop too was in the know, in which case they’re both to blame.
But. There is still the baby. Innocent of all this. Entitled to support from both parents.
The father here, aided by his superiors, ducked out.
This has nothing to do with gender. It has to do with not taking responsibility.



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Newton

posted August 5, 2005 at 1:14 am


“The father here, aided by his superiors, ducked out.”
Why do you keep saying this? You know the father was paying the amount the court – having examined all the particulars – told him to pay.



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carol mckinley

posted August 5, 2005 at 7:41 am


“You know the father was paying the amount the court – having examined all the particulars – told him to pay.”
Gee, could it be that daddy-o had the benefit of free muckedy muck diocescan lawyers while she was scraping the barrel of lawyers for the indigent? You get out of the judicial system in accordance to the attorney you can afford. They can make the glove not fit.
Poor Father, being stalked by this woman who tried to entrap him.
We can all imagine if he treats his flesh and blood this way, how caring he is to the flock.
Another creep with a dysfunctional family encamped around the good old boys to supply his excuses.
Deja vu.



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Newton

posted August 5, 2005 at 8:26 am


carol mackinley:
One can agree that this a bad situation without ascribing thoughts (“Levada could apologize. He hasn’t because he isn’t sorry”) to them that we couldn’t possibly know. Expectations that they treat others fairly carries that responsibility in writing of matters about which we know very little.
Calling people “morons” and “creeps” ( “Boot this creep out, like, yesterday. Tell him to get a real job” and just out and out lying by saying “this man is utterly unwilling to undertake to answer his own responsibilities” when the original story was about the woman wanting MORE than the court found appropriate – this approach is just an exploitive use of the situation to spew pre-existing animus in every direction. I’m surprised Nancy hasn’t held B16 to account for this priest and the amount of support he was paying. Famously, she once posted that JP2 was “personally responsible” for child rape.
This isn’t illuminating about anything except, perhaps, the personalities of the posters.



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Pat Gonzalez

posted August 5, 2005 at 9:03 am


I didn’t mean to say that Fr. Urribe’s sin is unforgiveable — no sin is, provided there is repentance and acknowledgement of the sin in question. My reason for characterizing Urribe as an SOB is that he doesn’t seem to have any remorse or sense of responsibility for his actions or his behaviour. He — and the Redemptorists — have done everything they could to cover up this mess, and that’s why I made that particular reference. My previous post was written in sorrow, anger, and frustration over the Church’s continual lack of sensitivity in this area. I am sorry for “losing it” , but it’s hard to keep an even mind when reading about this sort of thing. God knows none of us is perfect, but this case — and, sadly, many others like it — is an indication of how much the Church (and us, as its members) needs cleansing and healing. Pope Benedict has his work cut out for him — and so do we. God help us.



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BenYachov(Jim Scott 4th)

posted August 5, 2005 at 4:10 pm


I don’t know why this is such a no brainer? Neither the Church or the Redemptorist religious order are responsible for child support. Only the Seminarian/Priest is responsible & he can’t legally claim his “vow of poverty” exempts him from paying child support and if he won’t pay child support throw him in jail.
On another note Artifical Birth control is against the moral law but so is fornication. One does wonder if they are going to violate one Law why didn’t they violate two & protect themselves?
Hey it’s immoral to rob a bank but if a criminal has the means to wear as bullet proof vest and yet chooses not to well that just makes him a stupid criminal if you ask me.



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michigancatholic

posted August 6, 2005 at 9:14 am


The priest ought to be kicked out of the religious order, then defrocked and then forced to pay for the upkeep and education of the kid. The whole profession and ordination thing was done under false pretenses–he had impediments which apparently weren’t admitted.
We simply are not so desperate as to rely on these types to do our ministerial functions in the RC Church. Get rid of him.



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HA

posted August 6, 2005 at 12:15 pm


The priest ought to be kicked out of the religious order, then defrocked and then forced to pay for the upkeep and education of the kid.
Let’s just hope and pray that everything is done with the kid in mind, and not to satisfy anyone’s sense of outrage. I’m not sure what kind of job the priest would get that would result in a childcare payment as secure as what the mother is getting now. In fact, I wonder how it compares to what other “fathers” with similar employment prospects are paying. If he’s fired or downsized, or gets ill (who’s to say that the new job would give him any health insurance), the kid could wind up much worse off than he is now.



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