Matt C. Abbott
Celebrity priest clashes with 'Church Militant'
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By Matt C. Abbott
April 4, 2019

In recent times, Father Larry Richards has made known his intense dislike for Church Militant and LifeSiteNews (both of which have published articles written by me, I might add) on more than one occasion.

From an April 3 story at ChurchMilitant.com:
    Richards has a track record of slandering organizations with which he disagrees. During the Legatus Summit in January, where Richards was emcee, he accused Church Militant of threatening to kill him.

    'You know a couple months ago I said something about Church Militant and they threatened to kill me,' Richards claimed. 'Literally, I got death threats from a good Catholic organization that wants me dead in God's name.'

    Church Militant categorically rejected the claim....

    Richards then published a late-night tweet backtracking on his original claim, clarifying that it was not anyone in leadership who threatened him, but allegedly a follower. He issued no apology.

    Church Militant sent a demand letter making clear Richards needs to repair the damage he caused by his defamation.... The letter was sent in mid-March, with a copy sent to his bishop. As of press time, Richards has offered no response, nor has Bp. Persico.

    Richards has also slandered LifeSiteNews, accusing one of its editors, Steve Jalsevac, of aggressively confronting him at a 2017 rally. Eyewitnesses, however, claimed the opposite – that it was Richards who was aggressive, raising his fist to Jalsevac and nearly punching him.

    Richards has repeatedly slammed Church Militant and LifeSiteNews as doing the work of 'the devil' and being 'demonic'....

    Parishioners once witnessed Richards shouting at disabled altar servers during Mass when they failed to perform their functions properly. One of the altar boys had Autism and the other had Down Syndrome....
And from an April 4 story at LifeSiteNews.com:
    The Catholic media agency Church Militant is filing suit against Fr. Larry Richards and his home diocese after the famed Catholic priest falsely accused them of sending him death threats.

    Michael Voris, the CEO of Church Militant, told LifeSiteNews last night that his organization is going to bring a lawsuit against both Fr. Richards and the Diocese of Erie, Pennsylvania.

    'Fr. Larry Richards' threatening tirade from his pulpit against his own parishioners this past Sunday officially crosses the line,' Voris told LifeSiteNews by email.

    'Church Militant will begin pursuing legal action against both Fr. Richards and his diocese.'
I don't know Father Richards personally, but his public behavior is appalling for a supposedly orthodox and pro-life priest. I support Church Militant's decision to take legal action against him.

Over the years, we've seen several celebrity priests fall into scandal. Father Richards is not on a good path at the moment.

As of the time this column was submitted for publication, the Diocese of Erie has not responded to my request for comment on Church Militant's story.

© Matt C. Abbott

 

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Matt C. Abbott

Matt C. Abbott is a Catholic commentator with a Bachelor of Arts degree in communication, media and theatre from Northeastern Illinois University. He also has an Associate in Applied Science degree in business management from Triton College. He's been interviewed on MSNBC, Bill Martinez Live, WOSU Radio in Ohio, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel's 'Unsolved' podcast, WLS-TV (ABC) in Chicago, WMTV (NBC) and WISC-TV (CBS) in Madison, Wis., and has been quoted in The New York Times and the Chicago Tribune. He can be reached at mattcabbott@gmail.com.

(Note: I welcome thoughtful feedback and story ideas. If you want our correspondence to remain confidential, please specify as such in your initial email to me. However, I reserve the right to forward and/or publish emails that are accusatory, insulting or threatening in nature, even if those emails are marked confidential. Also, if you give me permission to publish a quote of yours, please do not contact me at a later time to request that I delete your name. Only in limited circumstances will I quote anonymous sources. Thank you and God bless!)

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