|I speak Spanish fluently|
Edit: Pictures of the Bishop of Little Rock Arkansas are available for twenty bucks or so. Perhaps someone should investigate whether the Bishop can continue in ministry effectively being as he's so out of touch with and hostile to the religious needs of his flock? Earlier in his reign, he took Catholics to task for their reverence for Robert E. Lee. But his words do find actions, even if they take place under the meanest and barest of pretexts in the service of injustice an indifference to the spiritual needs of his community.
A recent article in the Remnant went to some lengths to describe the Bishops hostility to the Traditional community in Arkansas which has long been a problem. He removed a successful and intelligent man from a blossoming community over what really looks like a pretext.
As far as we know now, there have been no efforts to replace Father Demets on the part of the Bishop. He's been busy looking for pretexts to fire his traditional parish priests and leave the people in limbo as to a replacement for as long as possible.
This looks like nothing else besides malice combined with effeminate tittering. He's too busy with his Spanish Masses.
Bishop Anthony Taylor was appointed in the Spring of 2008, after having made a name for himself in Oklahoma City as a champion of illegal immigrants. He credits Martin Luther King, Jr. for having inspired his vocation, he’s proud (to the point of being annoying) about his ability to speak Spanish, and he’s been known to attempt to convince people that he’s not ideological. Within a few weeks of his arrival, the community in Berryville was discontinued and Father Thomas Arackal was reassigned with no provision for the Mass to continue. Shortly thereafter he was sent back to his native country. A few months later, Father Bradley Barber was accused of some wrongdoing, and with no preliminary investigation he was removed from his position as pastor of St. Josephs in Fayetteville while some very disturbing accusations against him were broadcast to the entire world by the Diocese of Little Rock. The accusations were so unrealistic that they do not deserve to be repeated, unlike the ridiculous and greatly exaggerated accusation against Father Demets at the beginning of this article. Father Barber was quickly cleared, but to this date his faculties have not been restored.The following is yet another verbose and cumbersome letter attempting to justify his unjust treatment of Father Demets and no provision to provide a replacement to the growing Traditional community in Arkansas. Never mind obeying Summorum Pontificum, Bishop Taylor has his own agenda.
DIOCESE OF LITTLE ROCK
Office of The Bishop
2500 North Tyler Street * P.O. Box7565 * Little Rock, Arkansas 72217 * (501) 664-0340 Fax (501) 664-6304
January 31, 2012
To the priests and people of the Diocese of Little Rock,
As bishop of the Diocese of Little Rock, I take seriously my responsibility to shepherd and protect the flock entrusted to my care. One of my obligations upon receiving credible allegations of misconduct on the part of Church employees and volunteers is to comply with the requirements of Church law and the laws of the state of Arkansas regarding how these cases should be handled.
The reporting mandate of Arkansas law for suspected mistreatment of minors requires us to report not only cases of sexual abuse, but also cases of physical mistreatment--such as incidents in which a child is believed to have been hit or slapped by an adult. The civil investigation to substantiate such cases depends in part on the willingness of the alleged victim and any witnesses to cooperate. Church law requires that the diocese conduct its own investigation of credibly alleged incidents, following the procedures specified in our policy for handling such cases, including:
1. Automatic temporary suspension of the subject of an allegation from Church ministry pending the outcome of the civil and ecclesiastical investigations,
2. Public announcement that an allegation has been received, naming the subject of the allegation and the nature of the incident, asking any who have information to come forward--including other possible victims, if there are any.
In cases where the allegation is not sustained, this fact should be announced and steps be taken to repair the damage inflicted by this process. In the event that the civil and ecclesiastical investigations reach differing conclusions due to the higher standards of conduct demanded of Church employees and volunteers, this too should be noted--hence this letter.
On November 7, 2011 a credible allegation of having slapped a child, was lodged against Reverend Laurent Demets, F.S.S.P regarding an incident alleged to have occurred at St. Michael Catholic Church in Cherokee Village. At that time we complied with the reporting requirements of the state of Arkansas and implemented the procedures ofthe Diocese of Little Rock for handling such allegations. On November 9, 2011 I suspended Fr. Demets' faculties to function as a priest pending completion of the civil and ecclesiastical investigations. I also made the required announcement regarding these allegations in a memo to the priests of the Diocese of Little Rock, which was also published in the Arkansas Catholic and announced in the parishes Where Fr. Demets had been serving.
1. Substantiated in Church law. According to the safe environment policies of the Diocese of Little Rock, striking a child is never permitted, even when not inflicted in anger--for instance, corporal punishment is not permitted in Catholic schools. On November 9, 2011 Fr. Demets admitted that he had indeed slapped the child in question. So the allegation must be considered "substantiated" for purposes of Church law.
2. Unsubstantiated in civil law. On December 13, 2011 the Arkansas Department of Human Services concluded its investigation and informed Fr. Demets that "because the allegations were not supported by a preponderance of evidence, the allegation has been determined unsubstantiated" for purposes of civil law and they assured him that his name would not be placed in the Child Mistreatment Central Registry of Arkansas.
Fr. Demets' community has decided that whatever the outcome of the investigations, they do not intend to re¬assign him to serve in Arkansas, so the issue of under what conditions I might restore to him the faculties of the Diocese of Little Rock does not arise.
Outside entities inquiring about Fr. Demets suitability for ministry will be provided with the information contained in this letter. I apologize for the delay in disseminating this information. I was out of state from January 2-18 and the report of the Arkansas DHS was only received by my office on January 4, 2012.
Sincerely in Christ,
+Anthony B. Taylor
Bishop of Little Rock