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NEW ORLEANS (ChurchMilitant.com) - Satanism and demonic influence were involved in last week's defilement of the sacred altar at Sts. Peter and Paul church in Pearl River, Louisiana.
That assessment comes not only from New Orleans archbishop Gregory Aymond, but also the women who, along with Sts. Peter and Paul pastor Fr. Travis Clark, participated in the sacrilege.
"The desecration of this church and altar is demonic, demonic," Abp. Aymond said during a reconsecration Mass at the church on Saturday.
"Let me be clear," he told the congregation, "there is no excuse for what took place here. It is sinful, and it is totally unacceptable. Travis has been unfaithful to his vocation; he's violated his commitment to celibacy; and also, he was using that which was holy to do demonic things."
Telling the parishioners he was "infuriated by Clark's actions," the archbishop was adamant that Clark will never again serve as a Catholic cleric.
"He will not be able to serve in priestly ministry, and he will not be able to serve as a priest anytime in the future," he informed the people.
Aymond had the altar taken out earlier this week to be destroyed by fire.
Archbishop Aymond has been busy with wayward clergy lately.
Clark had earlier replaced Fr. Pat Wattigny as chaplain of Pope John Paul II High School, after Wattigny was removed from active ministry after admitting to sexually abusing a minor.
One of the two dominatrices hired for the porn shoot with Clark, Mindy Dixon, 41, calls herself a "Satanatrix" and a "proprietress of the Church of Satanatrix."
According to UK newspaper The Sun, the other whore for hire, Melissa Cheng, 23, is complaining that the controversy has taken a significant toll on her mental and physical health since she was locked up and "vilified."
On one of her social media accounts, Cheng lashed out, suggesting an injustice has been committed against her.
"My privacy gets violated and I get in trouble," she wrote.
Cheng faulted the parishioner who peered into the church while the abomination was occurring for the controversy.
"Maybe people shouldn't snoop in windows and then complain about what they see, especially at night. Ridiculous," she proclaimed. "I'm so shaken up, I keep having nightmares and panic attacks and literally can't work on anything. I feel overwhelmed with anxiety from this ordeal."
Recognizing no blame for herself in this incident, Cheng addressed the public on her GoFundMe page:
I am an empowered woman, dominatrix, and a believer of safe, sane, consensual, and private BDSM practices. ... In order for me to come out of this in a strong, empowered, and healthy way I must take a hiatus from work, and social media, as my life has been overtaken by the publicity of this scenario, which I could have never in my wildest dreams fathomed to be my reality, yet here I am.
The archdiocese of New Orleans told Catholic News Agency that Fr. Clark had "never before been the subject of any sexual misconduct claims."
Acquaintances of Clark say he usually kept to himself. One of Clark's former seminary professors recalled that he was a poor student who made little effort. That, he admitted, should have been a red flag.
"It was clear he wasn't trying," said professor and theologian Christopher Baglow. "It was often countered that pastoral gifts and holiness do not require great theological genius, and the concern was expressed by some colleagues that we should avoid focusing too much on academics."
Baglow, however, thought Clark's problem was related more to character than to academics.
"Tolerating mediocrity in a man allows tolerance for other kinds of unacceptable things ... Mediocrity can be a cover for other problems — sometimes very serious problems," explained Baglow.
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