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NYC ‘dancing priest’ removed after ‘boundary violations’ with male parishioner

NYC ‘dancing priest’ removed after ‘boundary violations’ with male parishioner

Fr. Bob VerEecke

Fr. Bob VerEecke, a New York Jesuit priest known for his ‘liturgical dances’, has been removed from office following allegations from a male parishioner.

VerEecke was the pastor of St. Francis Xavier Church, a Manhattan pro-LGBTI parish.

According to a letter from Jesuit superior John Cecero, the church had to restrict VerEecke ‘from the exercise of public sacramental ministry’.

Cecero read the letter publicly on 15 September, announcing the removal of VerEecke.

‘Consistent with our Province Ethics in Ministry policies, I am removing Fr. VerEecke from the Church of St. Francis Xavier and restricting him from the exercise of public sacramental ministry,’ he wrote.

The priest was accused of ‘attention of a sexual nature toward an adult male’

Another letter from acting pastor Fr. Daniel Corrou clarified the nature of said allegations. They, in fact, concerned ‘a recent, unwanted and inappropriate conversation and attention of a sexual nature toward an adult male who attended the parish’.

Corrou also wrote that ‘there was nothing criminal about this interaction’. Moreover, he said VerEecke ‘agreed that the incident took place, acknowledges his lack of good judgment, and is sorry for the incident’.

He furthermore added: ‘The facts of the incident, as reported, and as admitted by Fr. Bob, violate the Ethics in Ministry policy of the Province of the Northeast USA Jesuits to which every Jesuit agrees every year.’

A pro-LGBTI church

St. Francis Xavier Church is a pro-LGBTI parish, hosting regular meetings for LGBTIs. It also draped a rainbow flag on the altar steps after the Obergefell decision legalizing same-sex marriage.

Furthermore, they usually march in the NYC Pride parade.

Fr. Bob Vereecke, who earned the title of ‘dancing priest’, was really popular in the congregation for his engaging liturgical dances.

If you try to access VerEeecke’s profile page on the church’s website, an ‘error 404’ message will appear.

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