A Roman Catholic priest in suburban Indianapolis was suspended from public ministry on Wednesday after describing the Black Lives Matter movement and its organizers as “maggots and parasites” in a recent church bulletin.
Reverend Theodore Rothrock, who was assigned at St. Elizabeth Seton Catholic Church, wrote on Sunday, “The only lives that matter are their own and the only power they seek is their own.”
He then continued the disparaging message with the following:
“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.”
Bishop Timothy Doherty, of the Diocese of Lafayette-in-Indiana took action against the reverend and issued the suspension from public ministry in the diocese.
The diocese expressed is a statement its “pastoral concern for the affected communities,” and wrote on its website the following:
“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.”
Rothrock issued an apology on Tuesday night on the church’s website, which says, “It was not my intention to offend anyone, and I am sorry that my words have caused any hurt to anyone.”
“We must also be fully aware that there are those who would distort the Gospel for their own misguided purposes,” he added.
“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.”
Rothrock is due to be transferred as pastor of Our Lady of Mt. Carmel next month.