Adam Race is the young autistic man in Bertha, Minn.
The Church of St. Joseph in Bertha, Minn., filed a temporary restraining order barring Carol and John Race from bringing their 225-pound son, Adam, to church. An affidavit alleges Adam struck a child during mass, fought efforts to restrain him, pulled an adolescent girl to his lap and revved the engine of someone else’s car. A parish statement said the legal move was a last resort after church leaders tried to accommodate and mediate, but the family refused.
- On Monday, after her court hearing was delayed until early June, Carol Race spent the day lining up legal help and giving interviews to national media.
My latest update on this story is here.
It is funny how quickly thoughs and feelings can change. While I disagree with Carol Race’s actions regaurding the media her own words about her situation are worth more than mine.
If for some odd reason you really want my thoughts on the whole situation they are much better expressed here.
This is difficult and sad on so many levels, but lining up new interviews is not going to resolve the issue for her family. My sense is that the Diocese of St Cloud would have never gone forward with a restraining order without knowing pretty solidly that they had a good case if it goes to court once it was violated. Anyone with half a brain would see that this would be very bad publicity if it got out of hand. All of that together makes me think that the situation in the parish had gotten very bad and the priest had exhausted all options. I pray that this can all work out for the best for Adam, his family and the parish.
(Yes, I have serriously edited this post. I was angry when I first wrote it, not just at Mrs. Race, but also at the media and how they have turned this into a “faith” issue when it is really not.)
2 thoughts on “A little more about Adam Race”
Thank you for this posting. I do hope that your anger has subsided. You seemed especially upset that Mrs. Race “spent the day lining up legal help.” I allow myself gently to point out that the pastor and the parish council are the ones who chose to unleash the media storm – they chose to go ahead with a restraining order and themselves reported the fact to the press, knowing full well the circus that would follow. After having been threatened with jail time and with news cameras already in her face, Mrs. Race was well advised to spend the day lining up legal help. The parish had lined up their legal help well in advance.
And she was advised. Mrs. Race took this step on the advice of advocacy groups for the handicapped of which she is an active member.
I know Mrs. Race because we studied theology together. This mom in Minnesota is actually a professional Roman Catholic theologian who studied dogmatic theology under the now Cardinal Archbishop of Vienna, Christoph von Schönborn. Her love for the Church has been constant from her early work on the Catechism of the Catholic Church while she lived in Switzerland to her years as DRE in the Twin Cities to recent years, where she has served her parish in many capacities. She began writing about the place of children, including handicapped children, in the heart of the People of God from way before she could have known that she herself would become the mother of a severely autistic child. As the godfather of one of her children, I have followed this family for many years from my friary here in Scandinavia.
Please believe me, that it pains Mrs. Race a great deal that the Catholic Church is made to look bad. It is true that the parish “offered alternatives” – but all of these so called alternatives were ways to keep Adam out of the church, for example, they offered special Masses just for him in private at home, closed circuit transmissions of the Mass directly to his home – and other fanciful ideas designed to spare people the sight and sounds of a handicapped boy in church.
In my heart, I pray that I am wrong when I suspect that the real issue is fear. Some adults in that parish (including the priest) seem to be afraid of this autistic child, a fear born, it seems, of ignorance and prejudice. I feel like I am reading a novel about the 13th century, but fear of “odd” people strikes deep – in this sense, this truly IS an issue of faith.
I thank you for your insightful and honest comments. You have a good blog here.
Peace and all good,
Fr. Robert G. Showers OFM Conv.
guardian of Consolatrix Afflictorum Friary in Roskilde, Denmark