CARMEL, Ind. — A Catholic priest in Indiana is feeling the heat after comments he made about members of the Black Lives Matter movement, calling demonstrators “maggots and parasites at best” during his weekly message to parishioners.
The Carmel Against Racial Injustice group wants the Bishop of the Diocese of Lafayette-in-Indiana to remove Rev. Theodore Rothrock of St. Elizabeth Seton Catholic Church, WRTV reported.
“The only lives that matter are their own and the only power they seek is their own,” Rothrock wrote in his weekly message Sunday, according to the Indianapolis Star. “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.”
Rothrock also wrote that the church must oppose Black Lives Matter and Antifa and carry the “message of peace.” The priest was also critical of the destruction of monuments and questioned whether famous Black leaders like Frederick Douglass and Martin Luther King would have marched with the group’s organizers because of “alleged systematic racism.”
“Black Lives Matter, Antifa, and the other nefarious acolytes of their persuasion are not the friends or allies we have been led to believe,” Rothrock wrote. “They are serpents in the garden, seeking only to uproot and replant a new species of human made in the likeness of man and not in the image of God.”
“There’s nothing to defend in the statements, it was one of the most heinous things I’ve read,” said Ashten Spilker, one of CARI’s founders, told WTHR. “He’s calling people who support a human rights movement serpents, referring to them as being like Satan which is completely uncalled for.”
Rothrock was ordained in 1983, according to a Diocese of Lafayette-in-Indiana newsletter.
In a statement posted online titled “Pastoral response to racism,” Bishop Timothy Doherty from the Diocese of Lafayette-in-Indiana said he had not approved or previewed Rothrock’s message, the Indianapolis Star reported.
“Pastors do not submit bulletin articles or homilies to my offices before they are delivered,” Doherty wrote. “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.”'
Rothrock has not commented on his message since taking it down.
CARI plans to hold a protest in front of the church Sunday from 7 a.m. until 6:30 p.m. calling for Rothrock’s removal, the Star reported.