The lawyer for the archbishop said what?

Please follow these instructions. Sit down. Click here. Read the story. Then click here just to confirm that this is not, in fact, a story from The Onion. This is, in fact, a report from the Los Angeles Times. Now read the story again and note that this is the rare opportunity to do what reporter William Lobdell has done — quote outraged Catholic traditionalists and progressives in the same story.

Once you have done all that that, click here. Now, get up off the floor.

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About tmatt

Terry Mattingly directs the Washington Journalism Center at the Council for Christian Colleges and Universities. He writes a weekly column for the Universal Syndicate.

  • Joel

    I’m so proud.

  • http://www.dailycontentions.com Lucas Sayre

    Tmatt, I have liked many of your past posts, but on this post I must unfortunately dissent.

    I see absolutely no inconsistency between the argument the lawyer employed and the teaching of the Catholic Church. Your seeming state of shock and abhorence is unwarranted.

    The lawyer never stated that the woman should use birth control or protection. What he said was merely that she should be responsible for the consequences of her actions, and when one engages in unprotected sex, pregnancy is a likely result.

  • http://ceejayoz.com/ ceejayoz

    If that is the case, should not the man who fathered the child also be equally responsible?

    Either way you read it, it’s a rather strange defense.

  • http://blogs.salon.com/0003494/ Bartholomew

    Maybe the lawyers just meant Vatican Roulette…

    But isn’t odd that someone’s employer should be held accountable?

  • http://clientandserver.com dw

    If that is the case, should not the man who fathered the child also be equally responsible?

    He’s not to blame. I mean, he was seduced by her womanly wiles! She was dressed like she wanted it!

    (Sarcasm, people!)

    (Dear Pope Benedict: It would be much appreciated if you were to add “shifting the blame” to the list of Deadly Sins. Maybe you can get it on the docket for Vatican III later this century? TIA.)

  • Stephen A.

    The apparent wording of the defense more than implies that “protection” should have been used, and that seems inconsistent with Catholic teaching, to say the least.

  • Matthew Popkes

    But isn’t odd that someone’s employer should be held accountable?

    Yeah, why should the archdiocese (or the Redemptorists) be paying this child support? Shouldn’t this come out of Uribe’s own salary? (Don’t know if religious priests get salaries, though, but I would assume they get a stipend.)

    MP

  • http://www.xanga.com/FzxGkJssFrk Matthew M.

    I, too, am confused as to why the bizarre argument was made in the first place. I should think that the church’s legal argument should rest entirely on their lack of liability for Mr. Uribe’s personal actions. It sure makes you wonder about that lawyer who came up with the argument.

    The only thing I can figure is that the woman might have argued that Uribe used his position in the church to take advantage of her, similar to the priest scandals. Noticeably absent from all this is Uribe’s personal take. I’d like to know what he’s doing to support his child.

  • rfwarren

    MP,

    Your comment:
    Yeah, why should the archdiocese (or the Redemptorists) be paying this child support?

    Question?
    Why shouldn’t the Dioceses be paying for it as well as the priest in question? The Archbishop is ultimately responsible for what his minions do whether he likes it or not. It’s a part of the roll of a corporate leader / manager that the buck stops on your desk.

    This is nothing more than the RCC leadership wanting to accept NO responsibility for what goes on under their watch. It’s also talking out of both sides of their mouth, they want to have it both ways. It’s also typical of the attitude the church has towards women. Until the RCC takes some responsibility for the actions of their priests and bishops they have no creditability.

  • J-D

    I honestly didn’t get the outrage either. Unfortunately, it’s difficult to come up with an analogy outrageous enough to make the point why this ISN’T outrageous. Are system of litigation can no longer be parodied, it has become so extreme. However, my understanding from reading the original article is that the lawyer simply meant that getting pregnant was a natural consequence of having sex – somethign the woman should have known.

    And the Archidocese shouldn’t be paying child support for the same reason your employer should pay for any libelous statements you might make in these comments (or GetReglion, for that matter). That you engage in actionable behavior not approved by your superiors should make YOU liable, not them as well as you.

  • http://www.herbely.com Herb Ely

    for quite a while, I’ve been comparing the Bishops to business executives, using Sidney Finkelstein’s book- Why Smart Executives Fail. Here is a short summary

  • Maureen

    Wow. What a difference from the comment thread at Amy Welborn’s. I want to be outraged at the lack of outrage from some posters. Where is the desire for common decency and doing the right thing? I mean, these are religious leaders and religious orders, ne?

    These kinds of responses are what realllllly make me feel like I’m living in a world partially populated by alien lifeforms. If only we could see little summations hanging over people’s heads: “I’m with you on property rights and personal liberties, but don’t count on me when you’re in trouble.”

  • http://www.dailycontentions.com Lucas

    Stephen A., your statement: “The apparent wording of the defense more than implies that “protection” should have been used, and that seems inconsistent with Catholic teaching, to say the least.”

    is an illogical extension of the actual wording by the lawyer. There’s nothing more to say. You either get logic, or you don’t.

  • Stephen A.

    The article states that the lawyer argued: “the child’s mother had engaged ‘in unprotected intercourse … when [she] should have known that could result in pregnancy,’”

    These are the plain words of the lawyer, unless he was misquoted by the LA Times. I don’t know how any logical somersaults you may employ will get him off the hook for implying that it was her fault for being “unprotected.” The Catholic church (I’m pretty sure) still frowns upon “protection” of that kind.

    Therefore, my comment stands, and is quite a logical, reasonable response to the article.

    You may not be outraged by the lawyer’s choice of wording, but apparently some Catholics who hold to their church’s teachings are.


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