Alabama priest marries teen after avoiding charges, returns to U.S. from Italy

Written by Jeppe W

Nov.22 - 2023 10:24 AM CET

Photo: Youtube
Photo: Youtube

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In a turn of events that has sparked controversy, Alexander Crow, a 30-year-old Roman Catholic priest from Alabama, legally married an 18-year-old high school graduate.

This marriage comes after a high-profile investigation into Crow's conduct and a subsequent escape to Europe with the teenager.

Alexander Crow, known for his expertise in the theological study of demons and exorcism, faced severe backlash from the Catholic archdiocese of Mobile in late July.

The archdiocese removed Crow's clerical duties, citing his departure to Italy with the teen as an "abandonment of his assignment" and behavior "totally unbecoming of a priest." This move followed Crow's indication that he would not return to the United States.

The controversy stems from the fact that Crow met the teen through his ministry at McGill-Toolen Catholic High School, where she was a student. The nature of their relationship raised eyebrows, particularly as Catholic priests are bound by a vow of celibacy. Additionally, in light of the global clerical molestation scandal, the church has established strict guidelines to maintain boundaries between clergy and vulnerable adults.

The case attracted the attention of the Mobile county sheriff’s office, which investigated allegations of sexual misconduct and grooming by Crow at the high school. Despite the severity of the allegations, the local district attorney announced on November 7 that no charges would be pursued against Crow.

This decision was based on the teen’s refusal to cooperate with investigators after being subpoenaed. She declined to answer questions regarding her trip with Crow, leaving authorities with insufficient evidence to charge a crime.

In a surprising twist, investigators uncovered a Valentine’s Day letter Crow sent to the girl while she was still 17, declaring strong love and suggesting they were already married. However, their official marriage license, filed in Mobile county, Alabama, lists their wedding date as the recent Friday.

This incident has prompted Archbishop Thomas Rodi of Mobile to seek Crow’s permanent removal from the clergy, an action rarely taken against clergymen charged or convicted of crimes. The process, governed by church law, is expected to commence early next year.

Rodi’s involvement is notable, considering his past in the New Orleans archdiocese, where he played a role in reinstating a priest accused of child molestation.

The marriage, confirmed by a license that highlights Alabama’s minimum age of marriage as 16, asserts that both parties entered the marriage voluntarily. Despite attempts, neither Crow, the girl, nor their families could be reached for comment.

This case raises significant questions about the church's handling of allegations against clergy and the legal implications of such relationships, particularly in light of recent scandals within the Catholic Church.