Update March 14, 2019: Fr. Richards backpedaled on Twitter last night his allegation that Catholic media organization Church Militant threatened to “kill” him. Read LifeSiteNews' report here.
DANA POINT, California, March 13, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) — A celebrity priest has alleged to some of the most influential Catholics in America that a Catholic media organization threatened to kill him.
Film has emerged showing Father Larry Richards stating that he had received “death threats” from Detroit-based Church Militant.
“A couple of months ago I said something about Church Militant, and they threatened to kill me,” the popular men’s speaker alleged.
“Literally,” the priest continued. “I got death threats from a good Catholic organization that wanted me dead in God’s name.”
Richards, 58, was giving a lecture about loving one’s enemies to the Legatus Summit 2019 in late January when he made the startling accusation. Legatus is an association of Catholic CEOs of American businesses. Richards was the MC at the Summit despite earlier protests by some Legatus members.
Church Militant has denied the allegation that anyone from their organization sent Richards “death threats.”
“I find it outrageous and impossible to believe,” Church Militant newscaster Christine Niles told LifeSiteNews over the phone. “There is nobody here even capable of doing that.”
Michael Voris, the founder and CEO of the apostolate, suggested that Church Militant may take “further action” in the wake of this, Richards’ most recent, attack on his apostolate.
“Father Larry Richards has been increasing the number of his completely baseless and wholly unsubstantiated attacks against Church Militant,” Voris told LifeSiteNews via email.
“We have to this point ignored these and presume he is suffering from some condition. This latest claim, however, which would rise to the level of a crime on our part, cannot remain unchallenged,” he continued.
“Father Larry appears to be suffering from some disorder. He needs either to prove his charges immediately, or to stop making them, or further action from Church Militant will be required.”
The founder of “The Reason For Our Hope Foundation,” Fr. Larry Richards is, according to his website, a “gifted and captivating speaker, preacher, retreat master and author.” He is also a parish priest ordained in 1989 for the Diocese of Erie, Pennsylvania. The author of Be a Man! Becoming the Man God Created You To Be, a book published by Ignatius Press in 2009, Richards has been finishing a degree in Liturgy at the University of Notre Dame.
He also hosts EWTN Radio’s “Open Line” show every Thursday.
The outspoken priest used his position as an EWTN radio personality to condemn Church Militant last September.
“Church Militant is not of God,” Richards said during a call-in show. “Stay away from Church Militant. I’m very clear about it. Church Militant is not of God.”
“It is from the devil himself,” he continued. “It brings division, division, division. Don’t ever listen to anything from Church Militant.”
Richards was particularly concerned for the reputation of Father James Martin, S.J., an LGBT activist priest he believed Church Militant had “demonized.”
“What they do is demonize people that don’t agree with them,” the priest stated. “… I don’t put up with people who demonize other people in God’s name.”
At the time, Niles professed herself amused by Richards’ histrionics.
“I literally laughed out loud when I heard Fr. Larry Richards say ‘Church Militant is from the devil,’” she tweeted on September 21. “He goes on to defend Fr. @JamesMartinSJ. People like him are the reason why no one takes EWTN seriously anymore as a source of authentic Catholic news.”
According to a subsequent Church Militant broadcast, EWTN took down the incendiary video after heavy criticism.
The outspoken preacher had abused LifeSiteNews alongside Church Militant and the OnePeterFive website in a homily earlier that September, saying “…LifeSite – it’s not of God. It’s filled with anger. It’s filled with hate, and it’s filled with mistruth.”
LifeSiteNews reached out to Fr. Richards by telephone and email through The Reason for Our Hope Foundation but was told it would be impossible to reach him for a week, as he is out of town doing a parish mission. Attempts to contact Fr. Richards through social media were also unsuccessful.
LifeSiteNews also reached out to EWTN and Legatus by telephone. Legatus declined to give a statement.