Single and unemployed, Stephanie Collopy asked a Portland judge this month to order her son's father to increase her child support and to add their chronically ill boy to his health insurance plan.
Sitting on the witness stand in a white button-down shirt, gray slacks and blue blazer with a small gold cross on the lapel, Arturo Uribe -- the 12-year-old boy's father -- had an unusual defense: He is a Roman Catholic priest.
Uribe, who was a seminarian when he fathered the boy during a consensual affair with Collopy, had taken a vow of poverty and therefore had no money to support his son, he told the court. Now pastor of the 4,000-family St. Mary of the Assumption Roman Catholic Church in Whittier, Calif., Uribe had never seen the boy, who was born in 1993.
And as for health insurance, the Whittier, Calif., pastor said his plan -- tailored for priests, nuns and brothers -- didn't provide for children.
Uribe's legal argument worked.
Multnomah County Judge Keith Meisenheimer ruled that Uribe only had to continue his $323-a-month contribution, paid by his religious order, the Redemptorists. And while the jurist instructed Uribe, 47, to formally ask his health plan carrier if an exception could be made for his son, the priest wasn't ordered to provide insurance
1. There is no excuse for the Redemptorists to be able to avoid providing health insurance for this boy. What a crime.
2. Why this guy was ordained - the affair happened and the child was born right before he was ordained, and they knew about it - is beyond me, totally.