Dispatches from Maine

Just another person of little note writing about ordinary things. That I reside in Maine is icing on the cake.

24 July 2005

Catholic Moral Theology?

So, I was trying to keep down my dinner as I read the linked article. It outlines an unbelievable situation where the Remdemptorists are retaining a priest who fathered a child as a seminarian. As a result, the vow of poverty he took, part of being a Redemptorist, is preventing him from fully supporting his son. The most unbelievable moment of all comes from this quote:

As the birth of the baby approached, Collopy, then 26, went to court seeking child support from Uribe. She also sued the Archdiocese of Portland and the Redemptorists for $200,000. She alleged that the seminarian, by having sex with a parishioner, had breached his fiduciary duty as someone who "performed pastoral duties for the archdiocese."
Their son was born in February 1993. In 1994, the archdiocese — headed by then-Archbishop of Portland William Joseph Levada, now a cardinal in the Vatican and advisor to Pope Benedict XVI — filed a motion to have Collopy's suit thrown out.

The archdiocese said it had never directly employed Uribe. It further argued that "no one other than the parents are responsible for support of a minor child" and that the case had statute of limitations problems.

Finally, the archdiocese said the "birth of the plaintiff's child and the resultant expenses … are the result of the plaintiff's own negligence," specifically because she engaged in "unprotected intercourse."

What kind of Catholic moral theology is that? The Church believes it is sinful to have sex outside of wedlock, but they believe it negligent to have unprotected sex outside of wedlock? If she had required a condom and it failed, would she then not have been negligent? Please tell me I am not reading this. The Church is being run by priests or by lawyers?

The original article is in the LA Times, but I read it in Roman Catholic Blog.


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