Something here doesn’t pass the ‘smell test’ with the defrocking of Fr. Royce Thomas.
A 40 year veteran of the priesthood is not permanently ousted from the priesthood by the Vatican over trivial misdeeds. We strongly suspect that there’s much more here than Bishop Taylor is admitting.
And we know of no priest ever who’s been defrocked because of an alleged drinking problem.
Bishop Taylor and his brother bishops have pledged to be “open and transparent” about clergy sexual misconduct cases. We suspect this may be one such case, though we hope we’re wrong. In any event, Bishop Taylor owes his flock more information than he has provided thus far.
If you have information or suspicions about any possible misdeeds by Fr. Thomas, we strongly urge you to contact police or prosecutors, even if you believe his actions may not have been criminal. (That’s a determination best made by law enforcement officials themselves, not by well-meaning but untrained lay people.) We also urge you to turn to independent sources of help (therapists, self-help groups, etc.), rather than to church officials (who will likely continue to try to keep this situation hidden).
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