A disgraced priest from Alabama who dashed off to Italy and subsequently married a teenage girl just months after she graduated high school has officially been removed from the priesthood, according to the New York Post.
The office of Archbishop Thomas J. Rodi released a statement about the situation on Facebook, writing: “The Archdiocese of Mobile has received notice that the laicization of Alex Crow is complete, effective immediately.”
Crow, 30, had apparently asked to be removed from the priesthood. And the request was “confirmed in a letter by our Holy Father, Pope Francis.”
The report noted that laicization — the process of removing a clergy member from the ability to conduct duties within the church — can be carried out after a leader has been absent for more than six months, according to the statement.
The statement went on to say that “[b]efore the six-month period was over, Crow initiated the process for his own laicization, a move the Archbishop supported.” Crow no longer holds any privileges or responsibilities within the Catholic Church.
Crow’s involvement with a high school teenager was snuffed out after it was discovered he had sent her love letters on Valentine’s Day when she was still a student. Crow had lectured as a guest at the teen’s school, per the report.
Other reports suggested Crow could have been grooming the teen before they eventually left for Italy in 2023. Crow had apparently been involved in a rock band and was fascinated with demonology, and he told those around him that he had planned to go to Italy to perform exorcisms.
Crow and the teen spent four months abroad before eventually returning to Alabama, where they got married. Though there was an investigation into possible wrongdoing by Crow, nothing ultimately came of it.
“I pray that this decision is one more way in which we can all move toward peace after these unsettling events. I continue to pray for God’s grace to bring healing for all,” the statement concluded.
The Catholic Church has consistently found itself in the spotlight, most notably for members of its clergy being involved in child sex abuse crimes. More than 500,000 members officially left the German Catholic Church in 2022, representing a massive exodus from the longstanding religious institution.
Thomas Schuller, an expert in Catholic canonic law, shared with German media at the time that the church is “dying an agonizing death” right before the eyes of the public.
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