Illinois Catholic Priest Found In Bondage Gear, Denies It Being Sexual

A Catholic priest was found in bondage gear in his church by Illinois police. The priest denies it being sexual. Huh.

Bondage gear, like the ones found here

Bondage gear, like the ones shown here, were worn by a Catholic priest discovered by police after he accidentally handcuffed himself without figuring out how to get out of them. (Image Sources:  Flickr: cinderellasg, lummy71)

The issue of demonstrating faith in the Catholic Church, or even the matter of trying to deal with one's flock, has been a thorn in the side of the clergy in recent years.  There is also the option of inflicting pain on one self, which is common among certain groups within the Catholic Church to maintain faith, but it just looks silly when viewed outside the church.  One priest in Illinois took it to an extreme recently:  Police discovered the priest wearing bondage gear used for sex after receiving a request for help from him.

The priest, on Rev. Thomas Donovan, was pastor at the St. Aloysius Catholic Church in Springfield, Illinois.  In November 2012, Father Donovan made a 911 call requesting help to free himself after being handcuffed.  When police arrived to the church, they discovered Father Donovan alone wearing an orange jumpsuit, a black leather mask which covered everything but his mouth and nostrils, and a bar over his mouth, a device known in the BDSM community as a bit gag, along with being handcuffed, which he likely did himself.

Upon revelation of Father Thomas Donovan's state, the local Diocese of Springfield, led by Bishop Thomas Paprocki, removed him from his parish, pending investigation and therapy from the clergy and a psychiatrist.  Given the gear Father Donovan was wearing at the time of discovery and their intended purpose, it was suspected that his celibacy was broken.  One could argue that situations like these would call for the matter of priestly celibacy be brought to the fore, and recently members of the Vatican have begun to question it.

However, Church investigators concluded today that Rev. Thomas Donovan was not, in fact, in that compromising position for sexual reasons, and is now in the process of reintegrating him into the Church, first by serving as chaplain to the Sisters of St. Francis of the Martyr St. George convent in Alton, Illinois, close to St. Louis.  This conclusion seems rather ridiculous, but there is in fact a credible explanation for it: The Catholic church has a old practice known as mortification of the flesh, basically a form of self-harm used as personal penance.  Catholics who partake in mortification do so to imitate the Jesus' suffering during crucifixion.  Many suspect Mel Gibson, a traditional Catholic, mortifies himself from time to time, through actual physical harm and his choice of film direction.

In conclusion, it is really weird that a priest would use bondage gear to serve penance, but it makes some sense.  Still, Father Donovan should probably take some pointers from the BDSM in how to properly handcuff oneself next time.  They are experts at it, after all.

Carbonated.TV