© 2023 NPR Illinois
The Capital's NPR Network Station
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations
This I Believe submission deadline Wednesday, October 4, 11:59 p.m. Click here.

Handcuffed Priest Returning To Ministry

Springfield Diocese

A priest found handcuffed in a church rectory in Springfield last year is returning to the ministry.  The Springfield Diocese issued a statement today saying Father Thomas Donovan will serve as a chaplain to the Sisters of St. Francis of the Martyr St. George in Alton.  

Father Donovan was pastor of St. Aloysius in Springfield last November when he called 9-1-1.  Officers found him alone and handcuffed in the rectory.  He told them he had put on the cuffs and couldn't get them off.    The diocese later said the Father suffers from a psychological condition called non-sexual self bondage.

A special church panel was convened to investigate the incident.  After going through mental health reports and interviewing Father Donovan,the panel members determined he posed no danger to himself or others and should be allowed to continue being a priest.  They also urged his progress be "carefully monitored for the foreseeable future."

Bishop Thomas Paprocki commended Father Donovan for cooperating. 

Related Stories