Father in custody case can't take girl to Easter service

By Manya A. Brachear
Saturday, April 3, 2010

A Chicago man in a contentious divorce and custody dispute was told by a judge this week that he cannot take his daughter to Catholic services on Easter.

The order maintains an injunction imposed against Joseph Reyes last year after he had the girl baptized in the Roman Catholic Church without the consent of his estranged wife, who claims that they had agreed to raise the daughter in the Jewish faith.

Reyes had asked for an exemption for Easter, but the judge in the couple's divorce case refused on Wednesday. Reyes already faces a possible contempt charge for allegedly defying the injunction and taking his daughter to Mass -- with a television news crew in tow.

Joseph and Rebecca Reyes were married in October 2004 but split four years later. Rebecca Reyes was granted full custody last month, but the divorce battle continues.

In a sworn statement in the divorce case, Rebecca Reyes says that her husband, raised a Catholic, converted to Judaism after their marriage and agreed to raise their daughter in the Jewish faith. He denies that he agreed to raise her only in the Jewish faith.

Her attorneys argue that the daughter, who attends a Jewish preschool, would "suffer confusion to her emotional detriment" as a result of what they called Joseph Reyes's "malicious" actions.

-- Chicago Tribune

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