NEWS: Father Charged with Criminal Contempt for Having Daughter Baptized

Joseph Reyes, Catholic, converted to Judaism in 2004, joining the faith of his wife Rebecca, apparently, he claims, in order to appease his in-laws. Now in the midst of a bitter divorce, Reyes has returned to Catholicism, which has raised the question of which religion their daughter should be raised in. Reyes took the decision upon himself and had his daughter baptized without her mother’s knowledge or consent. When Reyes sent photos of the event to his ex-wife, as she claims, in order to taunt her, she pressed charges. The circuit court judge of Cook County, Illinois, imposed a thirty-day restraining order on Reyes which forbids him from “exposing his daughter to any other religion than the Jewish religion.” Reyes persisted, however, taking his daughter to Church services yet again, apparently with more taunting photos. He was arraigned yesterday, charged with criminal contempt of his custody restraining order. Reyes plead not guilty, but if found guilty he could spend up to six months in jail. Reyes claims that attending church was not a violation of the court order, since, as he put it, “Catholicism falls right under the umbrella of Judaism.” The girl’s mother, however, does not see this as simply a religious issue per se. “The idea that he would suddenly, out of nowhere without any discussion … have the girl baptized,” stated her attorney—“she looked at it as basically an assault on her little girl.” Reyes requested that the trial be held before a different judge, with the next court date scheduled for March 3. See the full story here and here.

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