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Judge orders father to take his children to church

(40 Posts)
CaffeLatteIceCream Thu 29-Jan-15 15:03:58

Telegraph Link

Words almost fail me. Out-fucking-rageous.

Mum is a Catholic, Dad is not. Even though Mum did NOT request this, the Catholic judge decides that Dad has to take the children to mass when they are with him.

The Telegraph say they've seen the court transcripts where the judge discusses his own faith.

I hope this is overturned very publicly and the idiot judge is rightly put in his place.

AuntieStella Thu 29-Jan-15 17:28:16

I think there must be more to this than reported.

It seems that a number of items in the order have been challenged and altered/removed, but the provision that the DC must attend mass on Christmas Day if with their father still stands. What surprises me is that it is for Christmas, not Easter (vastly more important festival) and that's why I think the article must have gaps.

CaffeLatteIceCream Thu 29-Jan-15 17:54:59

Hmmm. I think you might be right.

Having said that, I don't think any judge for any reason should be making orders about children going to church or not.

Most odd that other people looked at it and didn't revoke that bit, though.

SoupDragon Fri 30-Jan-15 16:50:42

the provision that the DC must attend mass on Christmas Day if with their father still stands.

According to the article, it only applies to when they are with the father and not the mother who appears to have no such requirement.

morethanpotatoprints Fri 30-Jan-15 16:57:16

They should do what the dc want to surely?

prh47bridge Fri 30-Jan-15 17:34:15

There is not enough information here to track down the case. I wonder if it relates to gaining admission to a Catholic school. If, for example, the mother wanted the children to attend a Catholic school, the father disagreed and the judge sided with the mother this may have been necessary to prevent the father stopping the children meeting the school's church attendance requirement, thereby undermining the court decision.

I must emphasise that I am speculating. Without seeing the any of the judgements in the case it is impossible to be sure. But there is no way the ruling would have been upheld on appeal if it was as unreasonable as the Telegraph makes out.

Caronaim Fri 30-Jan-15 19:33:57

Maybe the children have some active role in the nativity play or choir? maybe they are not with their father at Easter? Maybe they see other relatives there, and it is the only time they are allowed to? No way of knowing

SoupDragon Fri 30-Jan-15 20:41:46

Why is the mother apparently not legally obliged to take them then?

VivVivacious Fri 30-Jan-15 22:31:35

' Judge Orrell, now 70...

...In 2011, he ordered three children to be taken away from their parents after a 15 minute hearing, following evidence about bruising to one of the child's ears.'

'His decision was later overturned and appeal Judge Lord Justice Thorpe said he was "aghast" at how the case had been handled.'

'"There is a point where a judge’s brisk conduct of business in his search for protection of a child is just not acceptable," the appeal judge said.'

A Judicial Communication Office spokesman confirmed a complaint was lodged in 2012 but no disciplinary action was taken against the judge.

^^^^^ is what is so fucking wrong with the family courts. Even when openly & ultimately found against, they face no sanctions.

Hence insane orders such as this actually BEING ordered.

Just outrageous.

Icimoi Sat 31-Jan-15 11:20:27

I suppose I could see how he might have lost on the European Convention point, because he based it on freedom of religion etc and it could be argued that it didn't prevent him exercising his own religious beliefs. But I can't see how it wouldn't be overturned on the grounds of sheer batshittery. Apart form anything else, apparently the 10 year old doesn't want to go. How is the father supposed to make him?

Icimoi Sat 31-Jan-15 11:23:45

It's looking as if the report is maybe a bit dubious - suesspiciousminds.com/2015/01/22/christmas-mass/#comments

prh47bridge Sat 31-Jan-15 13:20:39

Why is the mother apparently not legally obliged to take them then

If my guess that this is about getting the children into the mother's choice of school there would be no reason to make such an order against her. She would clearly want to ensure that the church attendance required for admissions was met.

Hence insane orders such as this actually BEING ordered

Bluntly I don't believe the Telegraph's report. If it was accurate there is no way the order would have been upheld by the high court and the appeal court.

The general pattern with stories such as this is that the press report an apparently insane order but further investigations show that the report was wildly inaccurate or misleading. Remember the story about the pregnant Italian woman who allegedly had a panic attack and social services responded by getting an order forcing her to have a Caesarean so they could take her baby into care? The truth was radically different from the original reports. I suspect the same is true here. Unfortunately many people remember the initial reports and forget they have been debunked, leading to a belief that the courts make insane orders.

muminhants Sat 31-Jan-15 14:38:46

How can that possibly be enforced? Will the church take a register? Sounds very unconvincing to me.

prh47bridge Sat 31-Jan-15 14:53:03

If the order does genuinely insist that he takes his children to mass and this is for school admissions purposes the church will indeed have a register or some other way of recording attendance. The mother can take enforcement action if he fails to comply.

FuckOffGroundhog Sat 31-Jan-15 15:11:58

I've yet to see anything that proves the court were right to give that woman a forced c-section and take her baby. Could you point out if so?

As to this story, if I were the father I'd have a word with a local sympathetic priest and discuss some kind of protest visit every week. It's disgusting.

IPityThePontipines Sat 31-Jan-15 22:16:03

Icimoi - Thanks for the link. So it would appear that the story in the Telegraph has little to no factual basis and is yet another salvo in the Telegraph's war on the Family Courts.

Groundhog - Here is a very comprehensive overview of the Italian c-section case: www.headoflegal.com/2013/12/04/booker-hemming-and-the-forced-caesarian-case-a-masterclass-in-flat-earth-news/

YvesJutteau Sat 31-Jan-15 23:11:03

It's clear from Mr Justice Mostyn's note on his judgment (pdf here) that it wasn't a "forced" c-section -- the woman had had a psychotic episode and lacked the capacity to consent to surgery, but she had had elective c-sections with her previous births and was now 39 weeks pregnant (the point at which elective c-sections are normally performed) so there needed to be a legal ruling to dispense with consent (or else force her to go through a VBA2C when there was no evidence to suggest that that was what she'd have wanted).

(That's leaving aside the custody and adoption issues)

YvesJutteau Sat 31-Jan-15 23:16:27

As to this story, given that the mother didn't ask for the churchgoing term to be included in the first place and the parents seem to be on reasonable terms (given that the father's contact time has increased significantly since the order was granted) they could almost certainly apply for a variation of the order, I'd have thought.

I can see why he wanted to appeal the original order as a point of principle, rather than just asking for a new one, but from a practical point of view the situation is probably easily remedied without weekly "protest visits" (even leaving aside the fact that it only specifies an annual (or probably biennial) church visit rather than a weekly one).

JoffreyBaratheon Mon 02-Feb-15 10:02:25

When my ex went for residency of my kids in the Family Courts, the Judge actually seemed to take his endless rants about god and crap (he did the Alpha Course and was proper foaming-at-the-mouth christian) to be proof he was mentally ill... And he ended up not only without custody but with no direct contact, either.

Whilst no direct mention of his christianity was made, it did seem to add up to a picture of a person with mental illness (my ex claimed I was a satanist which did me a huge favour!)

Maybe judges here are more sensible.

tiggytape Mon 02-Feb-15 14:57:58

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

YvesJutteau Mon 02-Feb-15 15:12:22

Not necessarily -- the appeal was specifically on the basis that the order was a breach of the father's human rights under Article 9 of the European Convention on Human Rights, and was turned down on the grounds that it wasn't. The appeal court didn't consider, and wasn't asked to consider, whether it was important, or a good idea, or anything else apart from the ECHR point.

There may well be more to it than reported (although it can't have been down to a school place issue as the order only required the father to make the children attend Mass at Christmas, not at any other time) but the failure of the human rights appeal doesn't show that.

prh47bridge Mon 02-Feb-15 23:27:26

Note that we only have the Telegraph's version of events. No-one has yet found an appeal court judgement that matches the Telegraph's report. Until we have the judgement from the appeal for the relevant case we don't know what points were actually raised or considered.

the order only required the father to make the children attend Mass at Christmas

Note that halfway through the Telegraph report the father is quoted as saying, "Because my contact arrangements now give me the children on some weekends, I am concerned that I will now also be required to take them to mass on Sundays when they are with me". The implication is that the original order (i.e. the one with the requirement for Mass attendance) did not give him any weekend contact.

Some RC schools require attendance at Mass on the Holy Days of Obligation, of which Christmas Day is one, in addition to Sunday attendance. It may well be that the children would have been in their mothers' care for Sundays and the other Holy Days of Obligation under the original order. My conjecture that it may have been down to school admissions therefore still holds.

ColdCottage Mon 02-Feb-15 23:28:26

Unbelievable shockshockshock

JoffreyBaratheon Tue 03-Feb-15 01:00:37

tiggy, you'd think so. But I got the distinct impression the judge (a no-nonsense old Yorkshireman) took it as part of the overall picture of a person who wasn't fit to be left alone with children - even before I was accused of devil-worship, it really wasn't going ex's way. wink

I saw in the paperwork he had sort of 'good character references' type things (letters) from all sorts of weirdos, including the vicar, and it just read really, really badly, however 'sane' and normal they tried to sound. I didn't get letters from anyone to say I was an OK person.

In the case of the children we're talking about, I think them being dragged along to services (even if it's just for the sake of getting in to a faith school) will hopefully put them off religion for life. So it's likely to backfire. Especially if it's seen as something done to placate Parent A, and pisses off Parent B.

SelfconfessedSpoonyFucker Tue 03-Feb-15 05:02:20

I agree Joffrey, wonder if there is anything in the order to stop the father ranting about being forced to go to something he doesn't believe in.

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