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LAFAYETTE, Ind. (WISH) — The Diocese of Lafayette-in-Indiana has suspended Reverend Theodore Rothrock from public ministry. The suspension comes after controversial comments were made by Rothrock in a June 28th newsletter.

Father Rothrock is a priest at Saint Elizabeth Seton 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.

He also called some of the people involved in the social justice protests and riots “maggots” and “parasites.”

Wednesday he 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.

Father Rothrock was scheduled to become pastor at Our Lady of Mount Carmel, the bishop says that will now not happen. The following 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 the St. Elizabeth Seton in Carmel before Sunday morning mass. It is unclear if those plans are still set.