Over at CWN's Off the Record, Diogenes has posted the following along with his reactions: "Here's a heart-warming story from the LA Times about Fr. Arturo Uribe, a Redemptorist priest who, while a 33-year-old seminarian, fathered a child." Read it. You gotta believe...but what?
I don't have a problem with the Church ordaining a man who had fathered a child out of wedlock. After all, the never-married St. Augustine had done the same, and that didn't stop the people of Hippo from pressing him into service as their bishop any more than it stopped him from becoming the greatest Father of the Western Church. But Uribe, unlike Augustine, has never showed any interest in his son and has his child support paid by his religious order, which requires from him a vow of poverty. Apparently the amount paid is insufficient, so the boy's mother has been having recourse to the courts and had even been having such recourse before Uribe was ordained. Yet Uribe is posted to active parish work and his parishioners defend him. How can this be?
I myself pay child support for legitimate children of a marriage annulled by the Church. It's more than Uribe's, but not so much more as to make a significant difference to their mother's lifestyle. I have a hard time getting my employer, who is obliged to withhold the support from my paycheck, to remit it on time to the state; whenever he gets behind by more than a month's worth, I have the authorities to deal with, and they are duly dealt with. And so it makes sense that I have been told in no uncertain terms, by several dioceses near and far that, for all those reasons, I have no chance of admission to seminary study—let alone ordination to the diocesan priesthood, which carries no vow of poverty. And that is why the Uribe case does not make sense to me.
I'm inclined to say that his case is just an aberration. But given what I've already said on this blog about the American bishops, I would not venture to assert as much. It might be one of the few aberrations of its kind, but it's only one kind among many. I just shake my head. How many bishops are still asleep at the switch?