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 Priest sued for child support

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Nombre de messages : 190
Date d'inscription : 15/04/2006

MessageSujet: Priest sued for child support   Dim 16 Avr - 1:17

Priest sued for child support

Sandra Ring-Morse of Ingersoll is also suing the Roman Catholic Diocese of London and the religious order priest Jason Martin belongs to. He denies he is the father of her youngest son.

By JANE SIMS, FREE PRESS JUSTICE REPORTER

For a while, Sandra Ring-Morse thought she was living a real-life fairy tale.

Just months after her infant daughter was born dead and her marriage failed, a high school sweetheart rushed back into her life, vowing to leave his life in the Roman Catholic priesthood and promising true love and a lifetime of happiness, she says.

For seven months, Ring-Morse says, they lived together blissfully. They were engaged and had set a wedding date.

But what began with such whirlwind promise has evaporated into the stuff only soap opera writers might dream up.

Jason Martin, the man who had so quickly appeared in her life, abruptly left her in July 2004 and disappeared back into the priesthood, she says.

Two weeks later, the 31-year-old Ingersoll woman, already severely stressed by his departure, found out she was pregnant.

Now, the single mother of two boys says she is struggling financially to support her children.

Even though Martin, an ordained priest, says he has taken a vow of poverty, Ring-Morse is suing him for child support and spousal support.

And she is asking the same from the Diocese of London and the Discalced Carmelite Friars, Martin's religious order.

In what Ring-Morse's lawyer, Kimberly Doucett, says may be the first case of its kind in Canada to go this far in the family courts, Ring-Morse wants Martin, 33, and the church to pay up and live up to their responsibilities.

Ring-Morse is following the lead of the Swales brothers of London, who were successful more than a year ago in a civil suit that held the Catholic Church responsible for the actions of a priest who sexually abused them when they were children.

Ring-Morse's case was filed in Woodstock in August. Both sides have consented to DNA testing on Aaron Ring, the baby born on March 10, 2005. On Nov. 23, Ring-Morse's lawyer will make an application to add the church and the religious order to the proceeding.

In court documents, Martin denies he is the father of Aaron and claims his relationship with Ring-Morse was only two months long and he did not abandon the family.

Martin acknowledges in the court document he had sexual relations with Ring-Morse in December 2003, but denies livingwith her for seven months.

Martin's court documents say he lived with her from late January to March 30, 2004. Apart from 10 days they spent together at the home of Ring-Morse's parents in April, he says, he lived with his mother.

Martin's lawyer, Denise Korpan, said she had no comment and her client was not available for an interview.

"The matter is before the courts and the allegations are unproven and they will be dealt with in due course," Korpan said.

Ring-Morse's version, contained in court documents but not yet proven in court, is one of romance and heartbreak, beginning with an Internet search shortly after her daughter, Angelica, was stillborn, having died in her mother's womb in December 2002 when the umbilical cord wrapped around her neck.

Her husband had left her and Jordan, then 4, while they were living in Windsor. Ring-Morse, depressed and grieving over the loss of her baby, was looking for bereavement support.

While searching on the computer, she discovered that Martin, whom she dated in high school, was at St. Andrew the Apostle Church on Fallons Lane in London.

She e-mailed the church and found out he was studying for his doctorate in Rome.

They began to correspond.

In December 2003, when Martin came back to Canada, he told her he wanted to leave the priesthood and had told his superiors he wanted to be with her.

He was encouraged by the church to finish his semester of studies in Rome. He returned there in January, but by the middle of the month, had come back to Canada to live with Ring-Morse, she says in court documents.

But, she says, he still was receiving money from the church.

He proposed to her in March. Martin coached Jordan's baseball team and wanted to be called daddy.

Despite her fears of another failed pregnancy, Martin wanted children and insisted she no longer take birth control pills, Ring-Morse's documents say.

In his court documents, Martin denies he coached Jordan's baseball team. He also denies telling Ring-Morse to stop using birth control pills.

The big crash happened on the day they were to sign the papers for a home in Ingersoll, Ring-Morse says in her court document. Instead of sealing a deal, Martin coldly announced he was leaving, possibly to do missionary work.

Two weeks later, she received word she was pregnant.

She says Martin told her it best for her to "co-operate" or he would go underground and never be found.

"You are not strong enough to take me on and those who support me," she says he told her.

In his court document, Martin denies he made the comment.

By December 2004, Ring-Morse could no longer find Martin on the websites that used to carry his photo.

After Aaron was born in March, Ring-Morse says she began to search for him again and found him on a website for the religious order.

Ring-Morse is not working and panics about finding another job. Her unemployment has run out. She lives with her parents. Her oldest boy suffers from anxiety and she fears for her baby's future.

"I feel terrible," she said.


http://lfpress.ca/newsstand/CityandRegion/2005/11/13/1304613-sun.html
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