OAN’s Abril Elfi
10:17 AM – Sunday, January 7, 2024
Alabama Priest Alex Crow, who fled to Italy with an 18-year-old and married her months after her graduation, has been removed from priesthood by voluntary petition.
On Friday, Archbishop Thomas J. Rodi released a statement following the laicization of Crow from his position.
“The Archdiocese of Mobile has received notice that the laicization of Alex Crow is complete, effective immediately,” the statement said. “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 30-year-old had requested to be removed from the priesthood, and Pope Francis had “confirmed in a letter” that request.
According to the church, laicization is the process of removing a clergy member, which absolves the bishop, priest, or deacons from performing their roles as representatives of the Catholic church; it can begin when a service leader is absent for more than six months.
In July 2023, the former priest and an 18-year-old from McGill-Toolen High School, a school where Crow had frequently lectured as a guest, fled to Italy.
When law enforcement learned of the love letters Crow had written to the teenager on Valentine’s Day while she was still a student, their relationship became clear.
Rodi denounced Crow’s actions as “totally unbecoming of a priest.”
“He may no longer exercise ministry as a priest, nor to tell people he is a priest, nor to dress as a priest,” he said.
Mobile County Sheriff Paul Burch spoke to the press staging that he believed “there was some grooming that’s gone on” by Crow.
Burch also mentioned that Crow was very interested in demonology and had told people he was taking the teenager to Europe to perform exorcisms.
Before the investigation was closed in November of last year, the young woman met with prosecutors and refused to answer any questions, according to District Attorney Keith Blackwood.
Even though Crow had not committed any crimes, the Mobile Archbishop stated in August 2023 that “he saw no way back to the priesthood for Crow, considering his scandalous behavior.”
Crow was first ordained in June of 2021.
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