SACRAMENTO (CBS13) – The Diocese of Sacramento excommunicated a priest from the Roman Catholic Church after he continued, while suspended, to hold Mass and questioned the legitimacy of Pope Francis, according to a letter from Bishop Jaime Soto.

In his letter, Soto said Father Jeremy Leatherby was exiled by his own volition, refusing the bishop’s instructions to refrain from offering public Mass to parishioners.

“He has instructed them against the legitimacy of His Holiness, Pope Francis,” Soto said. “He has substituted the Holy Father’s name with the name of his predecessor, and omitted my name during the recitation of the Eucharistic Prayer while offering Mass.”

Soto said he attempted to reach Leatherby in a number of ways but did not get any response.

An investigation into other alleged behaviors of Leatherby that violated his “priestly promises, was already in motion while he was suspended, Soto said. The bishop said those prior concerns are viewed as separate and did not contribute to the decision to excommunicate Leatherby.

“Both clergy and faithful are instructed to refrain from any further attempt by Fr. Leatherby to offer the Mass or other sacraments. Join me in praying for his reconciliation and return to full communion with the Roman Catholic Church,” Bishop Soto said.

Comments (5)
  1. April says:

    They are doing him a favor. The Church has become corrupted and so has the Pope. By telling a priest to stop giving the Sacraments they are being disobedient to God. Bishop Soto is standing against our Lord Jesus Christ.

  2. Auburn, guy says:

    Weird… they let pervert priests molest children without any recourse for decades, yet let one of them try to do the right thing by his flock and he’s excommunicated.

  3. Antoinette Doyle says:

    I’d be interested in emeritus Pope Benedict XVI’s reaction to Fr. Leatherby’s allegiance to him. Someone who betrays his vow of celibacy but contains to flaunt his self-righteousness and disrespect for the legitimately elected Pope Francis, should be sent into media obscurity.

    1. Guitarmom says:

      Antoinette, even the most detailed speculation about Fr. Leatherby has not claimed that he had sexual relations with anyone. Perhaps that is not what you meant by “betrays his vow of celibacy.” Can you elaborate?

  4. Justice says:

    A bishop that leaves one of his priests in limbo for over four years is guilty of grave neglect….this is why people are turning away from the church. Guilty or not guilty, Father Leatherby was unjustly ignored and isolated…….why?

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