Of human bondage

I’m not sure why it’s less strange that it’s not a sexual thang with this guy:

After all three Masses on the weekend of Jan. 19-20, parishioners of St. Aloysius Catholic Church in Springfield, Ill., were handed a statement written by Bishop Thomas Paprocki.

The bishop explained that St. Aloysius’ pastor, the Rev. Thomas Donovan, “is suffering from a psychological condition that manifests itself in self-bondage as a response to stress.”

The statement was a response to a 911 call in November by Donovan from the parish rectory. In it, the priest tells dispatchers he had placed himself in handcuffs and asks police to help free him.

[…]

Donovan’s hands were cuffed behind his back with the keyhole facing up, so he couldn’t unlock himself, according to the police report. He was wearing an orange jumpsuit and “a leather bondage-type mask with a bar in his mouth.”

The officers uncuffed Donovan, and asked if he needed medical attention. The priest said he was fine, he was alone, and that he “does this from time to time.”

I wouldn’t laugh so hard at these bastards if they didn’t spend half their time nosing around other people’s personal lives.






89 replies
  1. 1
    Xecky Gilchrist says:

    Only one jumpsuit? n00b

  2. 2
    aimai says:

    “In response to stress” is apparently catholic code for “some kind of sexual thang.”

  3. 3
    LanceThruster says:

    Impure thoughts are a sin as well…but fortunately, the system is set up “to forgive you of your sins on Sunday that you will commit again on Monday.”

  4. 4
    Ash Can says:

    Hey, at least the pastor wasn’t voting for Democrats. (I knew this Paprocki guy sounded familiar.)

  5. 5

    Hypocrisy seems to the middle name of so many religious folk.

  6. 6
    BGinCHI says:

    I’m kind of impressed he could get into all that gear by himself.

    Or….divine intervention??

  7. 7
    cathyx says:

    Did they check the closets?

  8. 8
    cathyx says:

    How did he dial the phone?

  9. 9
    efgoldman says:

    Herr Professor Doktor Pierce takes down Lowerey as only Charles can:

    Nevertheless, there was a commercial that ran during the Super Bowl in which some company attempted to sell its trucks by using a 35-year old speech given by the late Paul Harvey to the Future Farmers Of America, and Rich found himself moved almost to Palinwood by the old newshound’s words. His imaginary overalls grew uncomfortable in a not-unpleasant way. He found himself compelled to share
    [snip]
    Are you kidding? Listening to the CBS football studio crew try to vamp through a 34-minute power outage was the alltime comedy shiz-nit. I thought Bill Cowher was going to blow his ACL trying to get to a verb. Jeebus, dude, have some fun.

    [with which I agree completely. They’d have been better off putting up a test pattern.]
    Read the whole thing:
    http://www.esquire.com/blogs/p.....New_Ground

  10. 10
  11. 11
    maya says:

    If only there was an alter boy handy nearby with a key none of this would have happened.

  12. 12
    lahru says:

    The stress originates vertically between his belly button and his knees and horizontally between his hips and we are not sure why.

  13. 13
    efgoldman says:

    And more on topic, there’s this from last week:

    In a move unprecedented in the U.S. Catholic Church, Gomez announced Thursday that he had relieved Mahony, his predecessor as archbishop, of all public duties over his handling of clergy sex abuse of children decades ago.
    Gomez also said that Auxiliary Bishop Thomas J. Curry, who worked with Mahony to conceal abusers from police in the 1980s, had resigned his post as a regional bishop in Santa Barbara.
    The announcement came as the church posted on its website tens of thousands of pages of the previously secret personnel files of 122 priests accused of molesting children.
    “I find these files to be brutal and painful reading. The behavior described in these files is terribly sad and evil,” Gomez wrote in his letter, addressed to “My brothers and sisters in Christ.”

    http://latimesblogs.latimes.co.....vices.html

  14. 14
    pat says:

    I’m trying to see the point of handcuffing his hands behind his back. Seems he would rather have them in front where the.. ahh.. seat of pleasure resides.

  15. 15
  16. 16
    cathyx says:

    @schrodinger’s cat: The police are on speed dial?

  17. 17
    LanceThruster says:

    @pat:

    The torture is clearly meant to be psychological as well.

  18. 18
    cathyx says:

    Seems to me he pissed someone off right in the middle of the fun.

    ETA: or he got robbed.

  19. 19
    David in NY says:

    Hardly unprecedented. Self-flagellation was practiced by monastics in the middle ages, and more so by the flagellants in the 13th and 14th century. Nice scene of them in Bergman’s Seventh Seal.

  20. 20
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @cathyx: Yeah, check the Springfield pawnshops for a set of silver candlesticks

  21. 21
    David in NY says:

    @maya: He’d need a boy who’d been altered? That’s weird.

  22. 22
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @cathyx: They can be. Most phones allow people to program numbers into them.

  23. 23
    Mike E says:

    Yay! Kay Hagan will vote to confirm Chuck Hagel, and all those dumb “Tell her to vote NO” TV spots will have reached the sewage treatment plant by now.

  24. 24
    a hip hop artist from Idaho (fka Bella Q) says:

    @David in NY: But was it so, well, technically complicated in the old days?

  25. 25
    El Cid says:

    The serious types choose double wetsuits.

  26. 26
    David in NY says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: Also. He was just handcuffed behind his back. Not so hard to dial a touchtone landline phone. In fact, if he’d been a little more experienced, he might have known how to break out of the cuffs — they have their defects.

  27. 27
    cathyx says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: Do you have the police on your speed dial?

  28. 28
    BGinCHI says:

    Turns out maybe Homer Simpson is the smartest dude in Springfield.

  29. 29
    David in NY says:

    @a hip hop artist from Idaho (fka Bella Q): That’s true — a whip to one’s own back was the usual way. Seems to me the impulse is roughly the same as here, however — some form of self-mortification. But who knows …

  30. 30
    evodevo says:

    @David in NY: AND in Monty Python’s Holy Grail !!

  31. 31
    LanceThruster says:

    @efgoldman:

    A really snotty silver spoon former Catholic schoolmate of mine was all proud of himself because his father was buried with then Cardinal Mahoney officiating at the service. The family has an uncle that was archbishop of a major US city who then was promoted to some post at the Vatican (though assuredly *not* Ratzinger’s ‘boy toy’).

    He was a bit of a bully with a Napoleonic complex and always looked for ways to get in whatever dig he thought would get under the target’s skin.

    I’ll have to remember to ask him next time I see him if he plans to have his dad repotted since the presiding cleric was someone who covered for a plethora of pedophiles.

    Where’s the honor and dignity in that?

    xD

  32. 32
    Fwiffo says:

    Actually, that doesn’t surprise me all that much. Like, high-power CEOs hire a dominatrix because they’re sick of being the boss. Sure, most also get sexually gratified by it, but some are just decompressing.

    It could also be a religious experience thing. The whole self-flagellation, mortification of the flesh thing, like those Opus Dei hook belt things. And people with extreme piercings and stuff have like a spiritual experience.

  33. 33
    David in NY says:

    @El Cid:

    double wet suit

    HA! http://www.thesmokinggun.com/d.....ber-fetish

    Was trying to remember that.

  34. 34
    Jason says:

    @David in NY:
    [i]Hardly unprecedented. Self-flagellation was practiced by monastics in the middle ages[/i]

    You’ve gotta be kidding. Corporal mortification is a big thing [i]today[/i], among Opus Dei cultists. Now I don’t know if Pastor Donovan is a closet Opus Dei acolyte or whether he’s just doing this on a freelance basis, but Catholicism has always had the weird, creepy bondage thing going on. The secret bondage cult coexists with the secret gay subculture inside the priesthood. In the rare occasions where the mask slips and this secret culture comes to public light, the laity are kept in the dark with snow jobs like the letter quoted.

  35. 35
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @cathyx: No, but I don’t get my jollies out of dressing up funny, get handcuffed, and them calling the cops to let me out. If I did I might very well choose to put them on speeddial.

  36. 36
    scav says:

    @efgoldman: Looks like they aren’t living up to their so-called standards on releasing the papers either. NYT. No one can find a new script today, all we’ve got are re-runs of remake scandals.

  37. 37
    efgoldman says:

    @LanceThruster:

    Where’s the honor and dignity in that?

    Cardinal Law from Boston should have been prosecuted. Maybe if the Boston diocese had been forced to come clean 20 years later instead of when they did, he might have been.

  38. 38
    Keith G says:

    No surprise here. Bondage and other S&M tropes have been part of the Old Church since the very beginning.

    I one of the things that make it…well… interesting… to study.

  39. 39
    Keith G says:

    @Keith G: I love it. I make a typing f/u and WP locks me out of editing.

    As originally conceived:

    No surprise here. Bondage and other S&M tropes have been part of the Old Church since the very beginning.

    It is one of the things that make it…well… interesting… to study.

    FYWP

  40. 40
    Maude says:

    Great post title.

  41. 41
    David in NY says:

    @Jason: I was merely responding to Doug Galt’s, “I’m not sure why it’s less strange that it’s not a sexual thang with this guy …”

    It’s just old news, really. Unless it was sexual or something.

  42. 42
    Violet says:

    An orange jumpsuit? He was dressed in prison garb? What’s that about?

    I don’t buy this for a minute. The keyhole on the handcuffs was facing up so he couldn’t unlock it himself. How was he going to get out of that situation by himself, then? It makes no sense. Someone else was there and for some reason that someone decided to leave and placed the call on his or her way out the door. This is a cover story.

  43. 43
    Schlemizel says:

    No way this clown did this to himself. He hired a dom & either pissed him off, the dom wanted the ultimate humiliation or maybe the dom had been a sweet innocent alter boy once & has his own demons to work out.

    Since he was gagged they should have checked his butt for santorum.

  44. 44
    redshirt says:

    It’s a Houdini thing. Don’t judge.

  45. 45
    LanceThruster says:

    @efgoldman:

    So very true.

  46. 46
    Another Halocene Human says:

    @LanceThruster: Ha ha Protestant plant! Little did you suspect we get our sins excused on Saturdays. Bwahahahaha!

  47. 47
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Violet: @Schlemizel: I don’t know. People can be weird. I think it is quite possible that he did it himself. Possible as well that he didn’t.

  48. 48
    Violet says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: I know people can be weird, but the actual physical contortions required to do it seem to point to it not being a one person job. How old is this guy anyway? Is he young enough to turn himself into a pretzel or an older guy who might be less flexible?

  49. 49
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Violet: The contortions involved in getting one’s hands behind one’s back? Or am I missing something?

  50. 50
    LanceThruster says:

    @Another Halocene Human:

    Very good pedantry…I am RCC turned atheist so I’d forgotten how they’d shuffle us through Confession on Fri or Sat (we did it as part of the school day) in order to receive Communion on Sun…but yes, I was referring to the more general xian notion of one’s Sunday piety being the source of Gawd’s forgiveness. Seems the chosen ones have streamlined the whole affair by making it once a year (and you get to feed ducks bread!).

    Follow the gourd!

  51. 51
    LanceThruster says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:

    I can step out of handcuffs to get them in the front (I’m a skinny 6′-3″). Freaked the cops rousting me in HS to no end (they let me go after their scare tactics did not work).

  52. 52
    Darkrose says:

    @David in NY: If he’d been more experienced, he’d have known that handcuffs are bad (they can really do a number on your wrists if you pull against them) and that never, ever, put the key in a place where you can’t easily get to it. SM 101.

  53. 53
    Uncle Ebeneezer says:

    I couldn’t help but laugh at this. But I do think that Greta makes an excellent point:

    I think he should have been able to make that 911 call, without fearing that it would result in him being publicly humiliated all over the Internet. I know he didn’t have that legal right — 911 calls in most states are a matter of public record, and there are good reasons for that, having to do with government accountability. But I think he had that moral right.

    I’m an atheist, and I think it’s fine for people to mock religious hypocrisy. I think it’s more than fine: I think it’s a positive and beneficial good. But this instance of it is giving me the creeps. Calling 911 is… well, I’m not going to say it’s sacred, obviously. But it’s important. It is, literally, vital. And it’s certainly way too important to screw around with for anything other than the best possible reasons. There are certainly some good reasons to publicize 911 calls: incompetent police responses, bigotry or insensitivity in 911 operators, reporting on a serious news story about a crime, etc. But providing the Internet with this week’s example of religious sexual hypocrisy for everyone to laugh at… that’s not one of them.

    I am willing, happy even, to publicly mock religious hypocrisy, and especially religious sexual hypocrisy. Religion is one of the primary sources of pointless sexual shame in our culture, and I will gladly excoriate it on that account. But I don’t want to buy in to the exact sexual shame that I’m condemning in religion. This is not cool.

  54. 54
    aimai says:

    @Violet: Reverend Mustard, in the Sacristy, with the holy handgrenade.

  55. 55
    J. Michael Neal says:

    I’m disappointed that everyone here has decided to make fun of this. Not surprised, mind you, just disappointed. There is absolutely nothing about his explanation that is at all implausible.

    Reading it, my impression is that this is something, like he says, that he does to deal with stress. It sounds to me like he has a plan and knows what he’s doing. This time he accidentally put the cuffs on upside down and couldn’t get out. And you know what? He had a plan for how to deal with that, having made sure he could call 911.

    You think it’s funny that people have odd ways of dealing with stress? Lots of us do. In my case, I not only chew on my fingernails; I actually pull them out at the root with tweezers. @Schlemizel: remind me to show you what they look like next week. Yeah, my case is a bit extreme because I’m autistic and there is a stimming element to what I do, but for all we know the same is true of this guy.

    I find this whole thread appalling from a bunch of people who like to pretend that they have empathy. Yeah, there is a fair chance that this guy’s problems are made worse by having to suppress sexual urges that are really pretty normal in human beings, but I’d think that that was something that would prompt some sort of sympathy.

  56. 56
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @J. Michael Neal: I don’t see any reason not to buy his explanation; It may be something else, but his explanation covers the bases fairly well. People are weird.

  57. 57
    J. Michael Neal says:

    @Uncle Ebeneezer: Agreed. I see no reason here that this shouldn’t have remained completely private, no one was in any danger of being harmed, there was nothing illegal going on and I don’t even think that there is any real element of hypocrisy going on here.

  58. 58
    Another Halocene Human says:

    @LanceThruster: lmao @ your story

  59. 59
    Another Halocene Human says:

    @LanceThruster: We’re all individuals!

  60. 60
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Another Halocene Human: I’m not.

  61. 61
    Another Halocene Human says:

    @J. Michael Neal: Well, I posted Nelson Muntz up in honor of Paprocki, who knows how Jesus would vote (and so can you). Maybe I should have been more explicit about that.

    Not all that curious about the priest in question, kinda pitiable, really, and I agree with the posters who raised questions about how this came out.

  62. 62
    Heliopause says:

    Anybody else think of The Ruling Class after reading this item?

  63. 63
    Emma says:

    @J. Michael Neal: I would be a hell of a lot more sympathetic if the organization this gentleman belongs to had not made it their business for persecute others for what they consider “immoral deviations” and “perversions”.

    Mind you, whoever made the call public should pay for it.

  64. 64
    Schlemizel says:

    @J. Michael Neal:

    Thanks for the offer but I’ll pass.

    The problem for him is that be belongs to a society that enforces a strict code on its own & wants most of it for the rest of us. Repression causes some people to react badly.

    As for being understanding I think members of some organizations sacrifice some amount of the assumption of honesty. If you are a representative of an organization deeply involved in lying about sex, covering sex crimes and enabling sex criminals I am quiet comfortable assuming you are lying about your own proclivities. If he were Larry the garbage man I’d give him the benefit of the doubt but he isn’t; he is a cog in a criminal enterprise deeply involved in ugly sex crimes so anything that even smells like perversion it is up to him to prove he is innocent.

  65. 65
    Another Halocene Human says:

    @Schlemizel: Yeah, but I kinda think you’re overreacting when this dude wasn’t hurting anyone except maybe the public coffers by getting himself into a mess (then again, maybe they billed him).

    FFS, part of 911 calls should come under HIPAA. No, we don’t want to give the government free reign to cover up screwups again (like we did with “national security”) but certain items should be disclosed at the discretion of the persons involved. Not criminal calls because I don’t think someone really has an expectation to privacy when they assault someone, but suppose someone goes into a diabetic coma on the bus or an epileptic seizure and EMS is called–is that REALLY the whole fuckin’ town’s business?

    Hm, just had a thought: when the AIDS scare got going there were calls to test people and publish the results and quarantine HIV-positive people, quite draconian and all that b/c of the hysteria, but I bet you unidentified epileptics have killed more people driving cars in the US than HIV+ wittingly infecting others (it does happen, sure), but there’s no call to smoke out all the epileptics and deny them driver’s licenses. Huh.

    Used to tell a bus driver who was pissed about a service disruption by the same lady twice in a week with seizures–thought she shouldn’t be riding–thank god she wasn’t driving! At least she was trying to do the responsible thing.

  66. 66
    Another Halocene Human says:

    Hm, another thought, I bet a lot of celebrities are loath to call 911 with medical problems because the calls are public. Some of them have “people” but a lot of time that leads to sub-standard care.

  67. 67
    Keith G says:

    @Schlemizel:

    The problem for him is that be belongs to a society that enforces a strict code on its own & wants most of it for the rest of us

    @Emma:

    I would be a hell of a lot more sympathetic if the organization this gentleman belongs to had not made it their business for persecute others for what they consider “immoral deviations” and “perversions”.

    Collective punishment? Is that fair or progressive?

    Do we know the basis for this man’s decision to become a pastor? What if he is truly one of the “good guys”, one of those brave and committed souls who have such an important voice fighting for what’s best for the men, women and children of the faith he serves?

  68. 68
    amk says:

    @schrodinger’s cat: even so, how did he do it? fukcing miracle, I guess. pity it didn’t extend to unshackling.

  69. 69
    redshirt says:

    @Schlemizel: @64 Righteous rant dude. Right on. This is a criminal organization, it should never be forgotten, that preys on young children around the world – now spreading the practice in Africa, no doubt.

  70. 70
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @amk: Put the bracelet on one wrist; put hands behind back; and put other bracelet on other wrist. I don’t see why this seems so complicated to people.

  71. 71
    mainmati says:

    @cathyx: Just what I thought too. And it reminded me of the Opus Dei.

  72. 72
    amk says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: thx dood for being so helpful. though I wasn’t talking about that.

  73. 73
    Cerberus says:

    It’s actually the jumpsuit that makes me more suspicious of the official story than the handcuffs. Putting people in orange jumpsuits to disconnect them from comfortable items to make a scene more intense is a common dom trick for creating more intense scene-spaces. But the point is to put you in a space where you can go deeper, which is why you pretty much need to have a dom to be there to help bring you back.

    It’s possible it played out like he said, but I’m suspecting that something went wrong with the key and the dom dialed up the phone and ran so’s they wouldn’t both be caught out by the bigoted and repressive official organization they belong to.

  74. 74
    PurpleGirl says:

    @cathyx: Not a precinct phone number but 911. That would be good to have on speed dial.

  75. 75
    Roy G. says:

    This is a test for the True Believers – the ones who ‘believe’ (or swallow) the Bishop’s bullsh*t excuse. It has nothing to do with God, only with authority.

    Since I left a long time ago, i’m not up on these things, but I don’t recall Opus Dei type flagellation involving Gimp masks. Perhaps this guy is just avant garde, however, I don’t see any cause for relief, nor sympathy, because I save that for the people who have been left outside of the protective circle this freakshow is inside of.

  76. 76
    Freemark says:

    Don’t see how than this is worse than whipping one’s self for Christ. Personally unless it can be shown he harmed someone else it ain’t nobody else’s damn business.

  77. 77
    Schlemizel says:

    @Keith G:

    So when John Gotti said he was totally innocent even after his organization – which has a long history of criminal activities to its ‘credit’ – said he was innocent it was wrong of me to not automatically believe him?

    Actually its a little finer edge than that. He was claiming to be totally uninvolved in exactly the same behaviors his organization is famous for. Had he been found in an orange jump suit, gimp hood and handcuff and claimed he did it to himself to relieve stress I might have believed that. Had the priest been accused of involvement with numbers running, prostitution and heroin trafficking I’d probably give him BoD on that.

    If that makes me a not true scotsman I guess thats my lose.

  78. 78
    Librarian says:

    Another priest having sex in his rectory.

  79. 79
    Forum Transmitted Disease says:

    I feel so vanilla. When stressed, I just go play guitar for an hour.

  80. 80
    Atticus Dogsbody says:

    @Violet: Who was dressed as a prison guard? Inquiring minds want to know.

  81. 81
    mouse tolliver says:

    Isn’t everything in the Catholic church a sex thing? One of the most sacred Catholic rituals involves kneeling in front of an authority figure and letting him put something in your mouth that you’re not allowed to bite. Hello?!

    Ritualism and cosplay is a defining trait for both sex fetishists and Catholics. But which came first first? Pun intended.

    It’s a chicken and egg thing.

  82. 82
    NorthLeft12 says:

    This reminds me of my recent contact with the Catholics Come Home effort by the US and Canadian RC Church. I sent them an email outlining my reasons for taking a leave of absence [ie. their persecution of LGBT, contraception issues, cover up of sexual predators, treatment of women, and the overall direction of the old, white, male heirarchy] from the Church. Got a long response “refuting” every one of my points with multiple links to articles, etc.

    The basic thrust of the response was that the “Church” is the truth and the light and there is no other way.
    ie. STFU and get back in line, dumbass.

  83. 83
    LanceThruster says:

    @Uncle Ebeneezer:

    I agree entirely. Unless there is an extremely compelling reason to release the tapes or the details, it does seem counterproductive to the purpose of the 911 #. I also have no need to hear the trauma or terror on display in some of the calls played by the media.

  84. 84
    Tonal Crow says:

    Did the police find him reading “50 Shades of Pray”?

  85. 85
    Julia Grey says:

    I’m trying to see the point of handcuffing his hands behind his back. Seems he would rather have them in front where the.. ahh.. seat of pleasure resides.

    Clearly, whatever was going on, keeping his hands AWAY from..that was part of the process.

    Reverend Mustard, in the Sacristy, with the holy handgrenade.

    You kill me, aimai.

    In my living room, with the Internet.

  86. 86
    fuckwit says:

    Umm, does anyone not think it’s terribly surprising that a church which involves staring for 40 minutes every Sunday at a huge statue of a tortured, nearly naked man dying while nailed to a cross, would breed quite a few BDSM aficionados? Then eating flesh and drinking blood too. Nothing kinky or twisted about any of that, y’all.

    That, and the CREEPY insistence of the men who run the church of being addressed as “FATHER”, even by grown men and women to whom they aren’t even related?

    And the celibacy, that too. I’m sorry almost all religions I’ve seen are bizarre and fucked up, but the particular ways in which the church is fucked up seems directly related to the particular problems it has.

    I’ve noted for a while that religions each have their own unique flavor, and seem deeply anchored in a particular place and era of time: Judaism and Hinduism seem like stepping back into the early Bronze Age, Zen like stepping into medieval Asia, Islam like medieval middle-east, Daoism and Confucianism like ancient Asia, and the catholic church is like stepping into Europe of the dark ages– gothic, bleak, morbid, creepy, filled with torture and horror and subservience and penance.

    Yeah, self-bondage, big surprise.

  87. 87

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  88. 88

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