Diocese Removes Priest

By Phillip Yates
Amarillo Globe-News
November 1, 2006

The Amarillo Diocese has removed a priest from a Borger Catholic Church after investigating allegations of inappropriate conduct with adults, diocese officials said Tuesday.

The Rev. Michael Colwell, vicar general of the Amarillo Diocese, said the diocese started an investigation Oct. 2 after learning of the allegations surrounding Rev. Patrick Carathers, who pastored at St. John's Catholic Church in Borger.

Colwell stressed the allegations do not involve minor children.

Colwell said the reported inappropriate conduct occurred about a year ago. He declined to describe the reported inappropriate conduct, but added that it was not violent.

"(Carathers) and the people involved have a right to privacy," Colwell said.

Charlie Keys, criminal investigator for the 84th District Attorney's Office, said the office is not investigating Carathers.

Colwell said Carathers was placed on administrative leave during the investigation.

"It is very unlikely he will return," Colwell said.

Attempts to reach Carathers on Tuesday were unsuccessful.

Carathers was ordained as a Roman Catholic priest at St. Mary's Catholic Church in June 1981. He was a member of Blessed Sacrament parish and a graduate of Caprock High School.

He graduated from West Texas A&M University and went to St. Thomas Theological Seminary in Denver, where he later received a master of divinity degree.

Colwell said he and Bishop John Yanta have gone to St. John's to address the issue in public with the church's parishioners.


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