A Catholic priest has been granted a leave of absence from St. Aloysius church in Springfield, Illinois, after he called 911 from the rectory and complained to the dispatcher that he needed help getting out of handcuffs.
Complicating matters, Father Tom Donovan also had “some sort of gag on” when police found him alone in the church, the Illinois Times reported.
Listen to the call here:
Unsurprisingly, there’s not much information coming from the church:
Donovan told the dispatcher that he was alone in the rectory. It’s not clear exactly how he ended up in handcuffs or why he feared a medical emergency. His voice sounds garbled or muffled on the tape, and sources say that police discovered some sort of gag on the priest when they arrived.
The diocese has been tight-lipped about the matter, saying only that Bishop Thomas Paprocki granted Donovan’s request for a leave of absence at some point before Christmas. The diocese knows about the incident, given that Brad Huff, an attorney for the diocese, has been given a copy of the 911 tape by the Sangamon County Emergency Telephone System Department. Kathie Sass, spokeswoman for the Diocese of Springfield, said that the diocese also has a copy of a police report on the matter.
Should the name Bishop Thomas Paprocki sound at all familiar, chances are you’ve read reports about his testimony against Illinois’ marriage equality fight earlier this week. The Chicago Tribune noted, “Springfield Catholic Bishop Thomas John Paprocki testified against the proposal, saying, ‘It would radically redefine what marriage is for everybody.’ He maintained the ‘natural family’ is undermined by the legislation.” Yup, the gays are ruining everything.
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