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« Keep Sunday Holy, Asks New Phoenix Bishop | Main | Benedict XVI, Vatican II and Modernity (Part 1) »

Sunday, July 24, 2005



What should be done? There is no question that fathers should not be admitted to the priesthood, and should be removed from the priesthood if a child is discovered. It is simply immoral to take and uphold a "vow of poverty" when you have a family to support.

"Certainly the God of my faith has no tolerance for a father shunning his own child." I agree completely. This is a great shame on this man and the Redemptionist order.


The priest should be relieved from his poverty vows for the next 6 to 10 years so that he can earn enough to support his child. Perhaps he can serve as an itinerant or substitute priest in the meanwhile. It is wrong to divert funds from his parish and order (and thus from their good works and ministry) to fulfill this priest's personal obligation. Then, perhaps, readmit him to the order etc.


The Redemptorists should have to pay.

They should never have ordained him, since, having a child, he now had a family to give to, and could no longer give himself entirely to God, which is part of his vow as a priest.

By ordaining him, the Redemptorists brought him into a system which would guarantee he spends the rest of his life adhering to his vow of poverty.

So, this seminarian had a choice: become a priest and shirk his responsibility (as a father, not just a provider of "child-support"), or leave the seminary and take care of his family.

He chose to shirk his responsibility.

ONCE HE DID THAT, the Redemptorists had a choice: refuse to let him in, recommending he fulfill his obligations to his family, or let him in, knowing his priestly obligations and the vow of poverty would keep him from supporting his family properly, thus helping him shirk his responsibility.

They chose to let him in.

Since he can't pay, the Redemptorists should have to pay.

Fr. Erik Richtsteig

Ok this just makes me sick. That the Redemptorists are paying and others think the Church should pick up the tab. Don't get me wrong. The child should be cared for by the FATHER. He should be booted from the Redemptorists and laicized. Then, once he has gainful employment, he can fulfill his responsibility.


I agree - the man should get a job and take care of his son. He created this situation and he should accept responsibility for the care of his son.

T. Shaw

Did they print this vital news item on page one?

Advice to all the ladies (oops: women!) out there: "just say no." The man isn't worth having if he will not respect you. I know: that's so 20th Century!

Basically agree with the comments. I guess the seminary hadn't effectively indocrinated the man in the concepts surrounding celibacy/chastity, in particular, and the priestly vocation, in general.

But, seems to me, the young lady also bears responsibility for her situation. Was she so easily (don't hear the term "easy" much anymore) cajoled "out of her bloomers", so to speak, by a seminarian who she had asked to "serve" (I don't think that's the term) communion to a sick friend? Did she believe he would leave the seminary for her?

And, she was not faithful to church teachings both on extra-marital intercourse and on (she forgot) chemical contraception. After they both flouted Church teachings, she wants the Church, a.k.a the innocent who contribute on Sundays, to pay. We've seen that before.


Of course the woman has some responsibility for this situation as well as the man does. And being intimate with a seminarian is not a good idea for many reasons. Obviously this is a bad situation that these two people created together and there is an innocent, illegitimate child who has real needs to be taken care of. Despite her mistakes, it is not unreasonable for this woman to ask for her child to be provided for by his father. It is the father of the child who has complicated the situation further by putting himself in a situation where he can’t take care of his primary obligation and provide for his son. The Church or his order or his parish should not be in the middle of it at all.

They both made a big mistake. The woman has been forced to own up to her mistake and care for this child – provide his care and bear the shame of being a single parent – and the man has been able to escape the brunt of his responsibilities by being a priest. That’s just not right by the innocent boy or the Church who is in the middle and shouldn’t be.


T. Shaw, I understand your point that the woman behaved immorally, and in a sin-free world the child would not exist. Are you also suggesting she not bother the Redemptorists with this problem for that reason?


Perhaps Fr. R can go into more detail for those of us who are unfamiliar with the specifics of the options he mentions.

First, how simple/complicated is it for the Redemptorists to fire one of their own? Do they have the authority to laicize one of their priests, or does it have to go through Rome? In either case, how long would it take? Would there be a significant delay between beginning the process and its completion, (the concern, of course, being how long the child would have to wait) or could the priest be expelled by the order, get a job, and work while the process of laicization by the order/Rome is progressing?

Second, generally speaking, when a priest leaves the priesthood, what sort of marketable skills would he have? I assume he can teach, but there must be other options given his level of education. What would they be, and could he obtain gainful employment immediately?


The Redemptorists have a decision. If this priest's work is so beneficial and profitable to the community and the order that it is worth it to keep him as a priest, then they should absolutely care for the child as if he were Christ Himself. If not, they should laicize him immediately so he can appropriately care for his child.

Either way, the Redemptorists should also compensate the mother for the time they have already aided the man in the evasion of his duties.

another example of wimpy priest...
Jesus can't be very proud of this punk. Lets see how we can have it both ways-- continue to get money from people who live by Christian love-- while those in the inner circle pull this wimpy sinful garbage. Maybe this priest who would consider abortion sinful should realize his response to his son is an abortion.


Mathew 19:29 "And every one that hath forsaken houses, or brethren, or sisters, or father, or mother, or wife, or children, or lands, for my name's sake, shall receive an hundredfold, and shall inherit everlasting life." Peter left his family, and Abraham gave Ishmael child support (3 days food and water), and told him God will make you a great nation. You either operate by the Holy Spirit (believe the Word of God) or by the flesh (the opinion of men). If you call yourself a Christian and attack this man for doing what God asks of him, you should be ashamed and you need to repent.

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