Home videos discovered in the basement of a Catholic church in south central Illinois show up to a dozen local priests dressed in drag and engaging in homosexual acts, according to sources claiming to have viewed the videos.
The Diocese of Springfield has denied allegations that it confiscated the videos, but says that it is investigating their existence and whereabouts.
The material, which a parish source says included at least eight DVDs, was allegedly found by a parish employee in early 2018 in the basement of Mother of Dolors Catholic Church in Vandalia, about 75 miles south of Springfield and 70 miles northeast of St. Louis. The church’s then-pastor, Rev. Barry J. Harmon, was removed from ministry last month after investigators discovered pornography in his rectory; Harmon was also accused of misappropriating up to $29,000 in parish funds, and was charged in late July with driving under the influence of alcohol. He is voluntarily seeking laicization, according to a September 11 statement from the Diocese of Springfield’s Bishop Thomas J. Paprocki.
One source with knowledge of the Mother of Dolors office, who spoke with CWR on condition of anonymity, stated that the videos were among the evidence taken from the parish during the investigation of Father Harmon. An investigator, a former law enforcement officer working for the diocese, viewed the videos on a parish office computer, the source said. The unlabeled DVDs were taken from the parish along with pornography and drug paraphernalia, the source said.
A spokeswoman for the Diocese of Springfield, Marlene Mulford, did not confirm the existence the videos, and told CWR that they were not among the materials taken from the Mother of Dolors rectory and turned over to police. This last point was confirmed by Vandalia police; “I am unaware of any homemade videos or drug paraphernalia,” from the search of the Mother of Dolors rectory, Police Chief Jeff Ray said in an email to CWR.
Read more at Catholic World Report