Does the Vow of Chastity Not Apply to Exorcisms?



Thomas Euteneuer, a priest and the President of Human Life International, an anti-abortion organization, has left his job after revealing that he had a "violation of chastity" during the  exorcism of a young adult woman. Both Euteneuer and Human Life International have been controversial figures and organizations respectively. Human Life International was established in 1981 by Paul Marx, "an anti-Semitic priest who blamed abortion on Jews" and in later years applauded the killing of abortion doctors. Euteneuer was featured in the HBO documentary 12th and Delaware, which chronicled a pregnancy crisis center In Florida which dissuaded women from obtaining abortions, located across the street from a clinic that offered these services.

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“The circumstances that led to my departure from HLI [Human Life International] were related exclusively to my own decisions and conduct within the ministry of exorcism that I carried out independently from my responsibilities at HLI,” Father Euteneuer said. In his personal statement, released January 31, he insisted that his “violations of chastity were limited to one person only, an adult woman.” Denouncing internet rumors of further misconduct, Father Euteneuer insisted that he had not been implicated in any other misconduct.

The statement from HLI, released by the organization’s board, offered a somewhat different perspective. “Since the time of Rev. Euteneuer’s resignation, the Board subsequently learned of additional allegations in connection with his exorcism ministry,” HLI revealed. The statement indicated that HLI had forwarded the appropriate information to Father Euteneuer’s bishop, and refrained from any further public comment in order to preserve the reputations of all those involved.

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