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Famous Churchman Gave His Son Away

Peter Abelard, one of the most famous churchmen of the 12th century, sired a son born to his teenage mistress Heloise. After childbirth, the mother recovered in a convent near Paris. Peter gave the infant to his sister for upbringing, insisting that such drudgery was not suited to him. Said Abelard: “Who intent upon sacred and philosophical reflection could endure the squalling...and constant dirt of little children?”

On the Father Front, Vol. 4, No. 3, Fall, 1991