Posted on | January 5, 2013 | 20 Comments
Was something kinky happening in the rectory of a Catholic church in Springfield, Illinois? That would seem to be the implication of this story:
The pastor of St. Aloysius church on Springfield’s north end has been granted a leave of absence after he called 911 from the rectory and told a dispatcher that he needed help getting out of handcuffs.
“I’m going to need help getting out before this becomes a medical emergency,” Father Tom Donovan told a dispatcher who sounds a bit incredulous during the Nov. 28 call.
“You’re stuck in a pair of handcuffs?” the dispatcher asks.
“(I was) playing with them and I need help getting out,” Donovan responds.
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.
A Catholic priest in handcuffs and “some sort of gag”? Sounds kind of kinky, but good luck getting an explanation from church officials:
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.
Sass would not disclose Donovan’s whereabouts or say whether he is staying at a church-affiliated location.
“I wouldn’t be able to tell you where Father Donovan is,” Sass said. “There’s a matter of privacy there.”
“A matter of privacy”? Not like the Catholic Church has any history of sex scandals involving alleged cover-ups by the hierarchy or anything.
The obvious suspicion is that the priest is now in one of those church-run therapy centers getting help for his problem, whatever it may be.
Maybe it was exactly as Fr. Donavan said. Maybe he was alone and simply playing with some handcuffs and got stuck. Or….maybe not. . . . I’m only saying that it’s a possibility that someone else was involved and thought it a funny thing to leave him handcuffed and, as a source said, gagged….or maybe came to Fr. Donavan knowing he had same-sex attraction just to set him up this way so that it would make news and damage the Church.
Lisa adds that (a) this incident made news while Illinois lawmakers were weighing same-sex marriage and (b) “this is being talked about on high-traffic ‘gay rights’ blogs already.”
Not only is the incident being discussed on gay blogs like Towelroad and Queerty, but it has also made headlines at Huffington Post, Mediaite and The Blaze. So the “matter of privacy” defense isn’t really effective, and gossip will run wild in the absence of a plausible explanation.