Catholic dad can take daughter to mass

April 14, 2010 at 1:17 PM
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CHICAGO, April 14 (UPI) -- A judge in Illinois says a Roman Catholic father can take his daughter to church even though she is being brought up as a Jew by his ex-wife.

Cook County Judge Renee Goldfarb also ruled Tuesday that Joseph Reyes must be allowed to see his daughter on Christmas and Easter, the major Christian religious festivals, The Chicago Tribune reported. Rebecca Reyes must have her daughter on Rosh Hashanah, Yom Kippur and Passover, Goldfarb said.

The toddler's religious training became an issue last year after Joseph Reyes had her baptized and e-mailed his ex-wife a snapshot of the ceremony. Rebecca Reyes initially obtained a very restrictive order barring the father from exposing their daughter to any non-Jewish religious ritual or belief.

Reyes defied the order, taking his daughter to mass on Christmas with a TV crew in tow. While Reyes, a law student, said he believed the order was unconstitutional, he could still face a contempt of court finding.

Goldfarb said Tuesday Reyes is "no Rosa Parks," the civil rights heroine who refused to move to the back of the bus. But she said both parents should be able to share their religious beliefs with their daughter as long as she is not being harmed.

She said from the evidence the 3-year-old spends her time in church waving at other children and giggling.

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