TRANSCRIPT: Joseph Reyes on Being Barred From Taking Child to Church

Why was it wrong? I just think that it was wrong because this girl had always been raised in the Jewish faith and there was no discussion. There was no—this was just something that he knew was going to have a negative effect on Mom, and that's why he did it. I don't think it has anything to do with his religious beliefs. He never went to church the entire time they were married.

Catholicism vs Judaism

CUOMO: Did you baptize your daughter on the sneak?

REYES: On the sneak? No.

CUOMO: Without telling your wife—the child's mother?

REYES: Rebecca and I don't talk about a whole lot. Rebecca and I actually don't talk at all. So in terms of asking permission, or discussing beforehand, no we didn't have that conversation.

CUOMO: One would think it would be something you'd discuss with the mother though, you know, it's a pretty big deal.

REYES: No. No, I don't think that for one, that it's the deal that Rebecca is making it out to be. Rebecca makes it sound like baptism is some forced conversion. Baptism isn't that. And I think that speaks to some level of intolerance against Catholicism, against Christianity.

CUOMO: Baptism is recognized as an introduction into Christianity, and to somebody of a different faith, in this case being Jewish, that would seem as taking the child in a very different direction.

REYES: I don't agree with that. I don't think for one, it's a baptism into the faith. I think it's a baptism, if you buy into the sacrament of baptism, which I do because I'm Catholic, then it's a matter of cleansing original sin and it's a matter of welcoming someone into heaven, basically, it's not a matter of converting someone into a particular religion. Certainly, I think in some aspects, in some religions, maybe it's become that, but it's not that to me, which is why you have confirmation in the future. Confirmation is basically where you make the conscious decision of saying 'I am a Catholic.'

CUOMO: There's a whole process of it.

REYES: That's correct.

CUOMO: And when you get baptized in the Catholic Church, there is a lot of suggestion that you are now a member of that Catholic faith.

REYES: I think that the Catholic Church recognizes you, yes.

CUOMO: But, and do you understand why that might be upsetting to someone who's of a different faith and a mother of the child?

REYES: If you're a member of a different faith, I would think it would be of no value. And it would just be a matter of sprinkling water on someone's head, and you would see it as nothing more.

CUOMO: And explain to me why the idea of you being a devout Catholic isn't upset by the fact that you converted to Judaism and Rebecca says she never knew you to be a Catholic, that you didn't practice it, that she had no idea this was important to you.

REYES: I always wore a crucifix around my neck from the day Rebecca met me, so it's a little disingenuous to make the claim that she didn't know me to be a Catholic.

CUOMO: You always wear a crucifix?

REYES: Yes, I have one on now.

CUOMO: It seems a little cute. It's one thing if you want your kid to have faith. It's one thing if you're angry at your ex-wife and you want control over your daughter a little bit more. But to say I'm doing this because there's no difference between Catholicism and Judaism seems a little cute.

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