CARMEL, Ind. (WISH) — The Diocese of Lafayette-in-Indiana has suspended the Rev. Theodore Rothrock from public ministry.
The suspension comes after controversial comments were made by Rothrock in a June 28 newsletter.
Rothrock is a priest at St. Elizabeth Seton Catholic Church in Carmel. He wrote in the weekend bulletin that leaders of the Black Lives Matter and Antifa are pushing a left-wing socialist agenda and don’t care about their supporters.
On Wednesday, Rothrock issued what he called a clarification. He said, in part, “It was not my intention to offend anyone, and I am sorry that my words have caused any hurt to anyone.”
He also said, “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.”
Bishop Timothy Doherty expressed pastoral concern for the affected communities.
Rothrock was scheduled to become pastor at Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Church on June 29, but the bishop now says that will not happen. This statement was posted on the diocese’s website Wednesday:
By decree of Bishop Doherty, effective 12 p.m. noon July 1, 2020 Father Theodore Rothrock is suspended from public ministry according to Canon 1333. The suspension comes in the wake of Father Rothrock’s June 28 bulletin article. The Bishop expresses pastoral concern for the affected communities. 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.Diocese of Lafayette-in-Indiana
The group Carmel Against Racial Injustice had previously planned to rally at St. Elizabeth Seton in Carmel before Sunday morning mass. It is unclear if those plans are still set.
On Wednesday, the Rev. Mark J. Powell, executive director of the Christian Democratic Caucus, announced an outside prayer gathering will happen at 11:30 a.m. Sunday at the St. Elizabeth Seton parish in support of Rothrock’s ministry.