Catholic pastor told to clarify ‘maggots, parasites’ remarks

A bishop asked a suburban Indianapolis Catholic pastor Tuesday to clarify remarks in which he compared the Black Lives Matter movement and its organizers to “maggots and parasites.”

Bishop Timothy Doherty of the Diocese of Lafayette-in-Indiana said the Rev. Theodore Rothrock of St. Elizabeth Seton Catholic Church in Carmel should issue a clarification of comments that the pastor wrote Sunday in a weekly bulletin message.

“The only lives that matter are their own and the only power they seek is their own,” Rothrock wrote. “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.”

Doherty said he had not approved or previewed the comments.

“Pastors do not submit bulletin articles or homilies to my offices before they are delivered,” Doherty said in a statement. “I expect Father Rothrock to issue a clarification about his intended message. I have not known him to depart from Church teaching in matters of doctrine and social justice.”

The newly formed group Carmel Against Racial Injustice wants Doherty to remove Rothrock from leadership. The group said it plans to demonstrate Sunday on the sidewalk surrounding the church.

The Associated Press left a message for Rothrock seeking comment.

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