Monday, July 25, 2005

Catholic Family Values (and screwed up family law)

Just when I thought my opinion of the Catholic Church couldn't fall lower, I read this gem in the L.A. Times Sunday.

So apparently this priest has a child out of wedlock while he's in seminary and now his archdiocese pays his ex-wife the princely sum of $323 a month in child support and doesn't extend his health insurance to cover the kid, who has chronic asthma.

Oh, and this community leader and spreader of God's word has never seen his son.

Oh, and when Mom sued for support 10 years ago the archdiocese said, with apparently no irony, that "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."

Yes, that's the Catholic Church faulting someone for having unprotected sex.

It's so fucked up that the Church can't even find a way to extend health insurance to this kid that it boggles the mind. What kind of screwed up values allow you to devote your life to helping strangers and, as a result, leaves you unable to properly support your own son.

I'm also baffled that the courts aren't compelling Dad to do something about it. Apparently Oregon (and most states') law is that child support is based on income. And that makes sense to a point. Obviously a very wealth divorced parent should have to pay a lot in child support, more than we would expect from a middle class parent.

But shouldn't there be some minimum? If you have a child and are divorced, then you don't get to take a job that includes a vow of poverty. You have to get a job that pays enough to support half of the basic expenses of raising a child.

Why is that not the law???

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