Chicago Sun-Times - - TOP NEWS -

CARMEL, Ind. — A bishop sus­pended a sub­ur­ban In­di­anapo­lis Catholic priest from pub­lic min­istry on Wed­nes­day for com­par­ing the Black Lives Mat­ter move­ment and its or­ga­niz­ers to “mag­gots and par­a­sites” in a re­cent church bul­letin.

Bishop Ti­mothy Do­herty, of the Dio­cese of Lafayette-in-In­di­ana, took the ac­tion against the Rev. Theodore Rothrock, of St. El­iz­a­beth Se­ton Catholic Church in Carmel, for com­ments that the pas­tor wrote Sun­day in the weekly bul­letin.

“The only lives that mat­ter are their own and the only power they seek is their own,” Rothrock wrote. “They are wolves in wolves cloth­ing, masked thieves and ban­dits, seek­ing only to de­vour the life of the poor and profit from the fear of oth­ers. They are mag­gots and par­a­sites at best, feed­ing off the iso­la­tion of ad­dic­tion and bro­ken fam­i­lies, and of­fer­ing to re­place any cur­rent frus­tra­tion and anx­i­ety with more mis­ery and greater re­sent­ment.”

The dio­cese ex­pressed “pas­toral con­cern for the af­fected com­mu­ni­ties” in a state­ment posted on its web­site.

“The sus­pen­sion of­fers the Bishop an op­por­tu­nity for pas­toral dis­cern­ment for the good of the dio­cese and for the good of Fa­ther Rothrock. Var­i­ous pos­si­bil­i­ties for his pub­lic con­tin­u­a­tion in pri­estly min­istry are be­ing con­sid­ered, but he will no longer be as­signed as Pas­tor of Our Lady of Mt. Carmel. Dea­con Bill Reid will serve as Ad­min­is­tra­tor of St. El­iz­a­beth Se­ton,” the state­ment said.

Rothrock had been due to take over as pas­tor of Our Lady of Mt. Carmel next month.

Rothrock is­sued an apol­ogy Tues­day night in a mes­sage sent to par­ish­ioners and later posted on the church’s web­site, The In­di­anapo­lis Star re­ported.

“It was not my in­ten­tion to of­fend any­one, and I am sorry that my words have caused any hurt to any­one,” Rothrock wrote.

The church must con­demn big­otry, which is “a part of the fab­ric of our so­ci­ety,” he wrote.

“We must also be fully aware that there are those who would dis­tort the Gospel for their own mis­guided pur­poses,” Rothrock wrote. “Peo­ple are afraid, as I pointed out, rather poorly I would ad­mit, that there are those who feed on that fear to pro­mote more fear and divi­sion.”

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