The Springfield Catholic Diocese is releasing new details on the sensational case of a parish priest who is on a leave of absence after having to call 911 for help when he became trapped in a pair of handcuffs.
Bishop Thomas John Paprocki has issued a statement which he says is intended to clarify “misinformation” about the case of Father Thomas Donovan. The statement confirms that Donovan did bind himself in handcuffs and required assistance to get free, but says the incident was not sexual in nature, and was an example of “non-sexual self-bondage”… a psychological disorder as a result of stress. The bishop says Father Donovan was under stress because of factors such as lack of sleep, poor diet, and unreasonable expectations of himself as a pastor.
[The information about "non-sexual self-bondage" comes from Donovan's clinical therapist, who acknowledges that the condition is "not a recognized mental health diagnosis at this time."]
The statement says Donovan is on indefinite leave and is receiving medical and psychological care. His case will be reviewed by an independent panel before he is allowed to return to ministry.