The Diocese of Little Rock issued a statement Nov. 14 regarding the removal of Father Laurent Demets, FSSP, who first served at St. John the Baptist Latin Mass Community in North Little Rock in 2007. He established the St. Pio de Pietrelcina Latin Mass Community in Cherokee Village in 2009, which meets at St. Michael Church.
"On Monday, Nov. 7 a credible allegation of suspected child abuse -- slapping a child -- was lodged against Rev. Laurent Demets, a member of the Priestly Fraternity of St. Peter, presently serving as the chaplain of the St. Pio de Pietrelcina Latin Mass Community in Cherokee Village regarding an incident alleged to have occurred at St. Michael Church in Cherokee Village. The allegation does not involve sexual misconduct. The procedures of the Diocese of Little Rock for handling such allegations were followed. The preliminary investigation confirmed by Father Demets' own admission the credibility of the allegation and the matter was reported to the State of Arkansas Hotline for Crimes against Children as mandated by state law. Bishop Anthony B. Taylor has suspended Father Demets' faculties to function as a priest effective Nov. 9, 2011, and has removed him from the Latin Mass Community in Cherokee Village pending completion of the investigation.
"In the meantime, the Latin Mass Community will celebrate Mass in English with the parish community of St. Michael until such time as the Rev. Eric Flood, district superior for the Priestly Fraternity of St. Peter, is able to provide a new chaplain for the community. Please keep everyone in your prayers."
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