WATCH: 40,000 strong petition supporting priest suspended for calling out BLM organization delivered to bishop
PETITION: Support priest who was suspended for calling out the Black Lives Matter organization! Sign the petition here.
July 17, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) — Yesterday, prayer and action came together at the Catholic Chancery in Lafayette, Indiana, where Catholic prayer warriors along with LifeSite staff held a prayer vigil and delivered our petition in support of Fr. Theodore Rothrock, which has already garnered nearly 40,000 signatures.
Fr. Ted, as he is known to parishioners of St. Elizabeth Ann Seton parish in Carmel, was suspended by Bishop Timothy Doherty after giving a stern warning about the danger to Christianity posed by the Black Lives Matter organizers and organization.
In a strongly-worded statement, posted to the parish's website (and now, subsequently removed), Fr. Rothrock said this of the organizers of the Black Lives Matter organization:
"The only lives that matter are their own and the only power they seek is their own. 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."
As Fr. Rothrock pointed out in his statement: "Black Lives Matter, ANTIFA, and other nefarious acolytes of their persuasion, are not the friends or allies we have been led to believe. They are serpents in the garden, seeking only to uproot and replant a new species of human, made in the likeness of men and not in the image of God."
Fr. Rothrock’s supporters and LifeSite’s field correspondent, Jim Hale, attempted to deliver the petition to an occupied rectory. The door, however, went unanswered.
Hale said this about the petition delivery: "We went to the front door, the side doors, the back door and the basement door. And, although there were four or five cars parked outside...and, even though a car pulled-up while we were there...no-one answered the door."
He also mentioned that he contacted both the Chancery and the bishop before making the delivery, saying that he would be there to deliver the petition and offering to interview Bishop Doherty about the situation.
Neither offer was taken up.
Nevertheless, Fr. Rothrock's supporters were undeterred.
Motivated by a deep sense of justice, they then gathered at the Chancery to pray for Fr. Rothrock, and for Bishop Doherty to reinstate the suspended priest.
The prayer vigil outside the Chancery was organized by local Catholics under the banner of Catholics for Unity and Peace (CUP). It was attended by LifeSite staff and over 35 supporters of Fr. Rothrock.
One local parishioner who attended the petition delivery and prayer vigil, John Curran, said this of Fr. Rothrock: “Fr. Rothrock was speaking his mind. He is not a person who is inclined to be politically correct. Christ told us that we are to be the salt of the Earth, and not to be expected to be loved by the world. And, sometimes, you have to make courageous stands in order to pass on to the parishioners and to the world, what the teachings of the Catholic Church really are.”
With tears in her eyes, another local parishioner, Cilim Marlin, who also attended the day’s events, wanted to encourage the bishops to be courageous: “Bishops are scared of speaking out the truth, and maybe starting some kind of controversy or losing some kind of public appearance. But, I want the bishops to brave…for Jesus.”
LifeSite’s petition for Fr. Rothrock was launched when Bishop Doherty suspended him after he posted a strongly-worded statement (now, subsequently removed) to his parish website.
While the Catholic Church condemns racism, saying that such discrimination is "incompatible with God's design (CCC p. 1935)," Black Lives Matter and other revolutionaries are radically different to past civil rights movements in that they incite further racial strife rather than reconciliation.
The goals of the Black Lives Matter organization are inimical to Christianity.
Indeed, until a couple of weeks ago, the Black Lives Matter website was calling for the destruction of both the nuclear family and "heteronormative thinking - the belief that all in the world are heterosexual."
While Fr. Ted did use strong words, he did not bow to human respect and willful ignorance.
By their presence at the Chancery, yesterday, local Catholics made it clear that they want their bishop to be courageous in the face of the serious threat to Christianity and democracy embodied by the Black Lives Matter organization.
Prayer vigils for Fr. Rothrock, as well as for unity and peace in their diocese and in the United States, will continue in the Diocese of Lafayette-in-Indiana.
Please keep Fr. Rothrock and Bishop Doherty in your prayers, and if you haven’t already done so, please CLICK HERE to SIGN the petition.