A Catholic priest in Illinois has reportedly taken a leave of absence after he called 911 to seek help getting out of a pair of handcuffs.
“I’m going to need help getting out before this becomes a medical emergency,” Rev. Tom Donovan of Springfield's St. Aloysius church told a dispatcher during the Nov. 28 call. The audio of the tape, obtained by the Illinois Times, was posted online this week:
During the call, Donovan, who was in the church rectory at the time, explained to the dispatcher that he had been "playing" with the handcuffs and was having trouble getting them off. According to the Illinois Times, police also found "some sort of gag" on the priest.
In December, the State Journal-Register reported that Donovan had been "granted a leave of absence to address…personal issues." Donovan, who had been the pastor at St. Aloysius since July 2010, was said to have "requested permission for the leave from Bishop Thomas John Paprocki some time before Christmas."
According to the paper, Monsignor David Lantz has been named "temporary parochial administrator" at St. Aloysius.
This is not the first time in recent months that a priest has been caught in a questionable situation.
In August, Rev. Peter Petroske, the former pastor of Sacred Heart Parish, was allegedly found driving drunk -- and naked -- on the streets of Dearborn, Mich. In October, ABS-CBNnews.com reported that a parish priest in Cubao, Philippines, was suspended from his duties after he was discovered frequenting nightclubs.