A bishop has suspended a Catholic pastor in suburban Indianapolis, Indiana from public ministry over his remarks he made that compared the Black Lives Matter movement, along with its organizers, to "maggots and parasites." The comments come amid widespread civil rights protests, which Black Lives Matter has been a prominent force behind.
The decision was made by Bishop Timothy Doherty of the Diocese of Lafayette-in-Indiana on Wednesday, according to WNDU. Rev. Theodore Rothrock of St. Elizabeth Seton Catholic Church in Carmel wrote the comments on Sunday as part of his weekly bulletin message. An official statement reads that "the suspension offers the Bishop an opportunity for pastoral discernment for the good of the diocese and for the good of Father Rothrock." The suspension prevents Rothrock from being assigned as the future pastor in any other Carmel diocese.
Rothrock's message was published on June 28 to his parish, which took aim at Black Livest Matter, as well as Antifa, saying they were trying to achieve "the obliteration of hour history," similar to the Taliban. "The brutal murder of a black man in police custody has sparked a landslide of reaction to the alleged systemic racism in America," Rothrock wrote. "On the heels of the COVID sequestration, the bottled-up tension of an isolated population has exploded into riots and demonstrations that we have not seen the like in fifty years. What would the great visionary leaders of the past be contributing to the discussion at this point in time?"
"Would men like [Fredrick Douglass] and the Reverend King, both men of deep faith, be throwing bombs or even marching in the streets?" Rothrock continued, calling the protestors "wolves in wolves clothing" and that "they are maggots and parasites at best, feeding off the isolation of addictions and broken families." He added that "Black Lives Matter, Antifa, and the other nefarious acolytes of their persuasion are not the friends or allies we have been led to believe," calling them "serpents in the garden."
The civil rights protests started back in May, sparked by the death of George Floyd at the hands of police in Minneapolis, Minnesota on May 25. In the weeks that followed, the protests have led to some local governments defunding police departments and re-investing in other community efforts. As far as the accusations about them erasing history, the protests have led to numerous statues coming down, many of which depict Confederate soldiers and other historical figures with ties to slavery and racism.