I am attaching here a letter I just received from Bishop Soto. In it he announces that Jeremy Leatherby has been laicized by the Holy See, and as a result he cannot function as a Roman Catholic priest. Due to his denial of the legitimacy of the Holy Father and his subsequent and illicit exercise of sacred ministry, Mr. Leatherby continues to be under the sentence of latae sententiae excommunication because he has entered into formal schism from the Catholic Church. Thus any rites or sacraments he might perform are both illicit and invalid.
Moreover, in his letter Bishop Soto explains how and why he revoked Mr. Leatherby’s priestly faculties when first he learned of the accusations of abuse made against him by several adult women. Although resolution of the Roman legal process, as the Bishop acknowledges, was lamentably slow, the fact that our local church responded swiftly and decisively to those accusations is a powerful sign of acceptance of responsibility and care for the flock.
Without a doubt, the final resolution is going to cause upset in our local church community. I ask for your help and prayers as we live through this together. As the Bishop admonishes us, we should pray for Mr. Leatherby’s conversion of heart, and especially pray for those whose lives and faith were undermined by his abusive violation of sacred trust.
As we continue to pray together, let us be strengthened in our resolve to reform our lives and our church after the model of Jesus, the suffering servant. May that example continue to guide us toward reconciliation, unity, and peace. Following our Bishop’s urging, we will offer votive masses of the Sacred Heart this Friday, November 6, at 8 am and 5:30 pm, praying again for the reparation of the sins of clergy abuse, for all victims, and for the healing of our church and world.
Sincerely in Christ,
Fr. Tom Lucas S.J.,
Bishop Soto's Letter Regarding Jeremy Leatherby
Click the link below to read Bishop Soto's letter: