Suspended Alabama Priest Marries 18-Year-Old in Italy: What We Know

Suspended Alabama Priest Marries 18-Year-Old in Italy: What We Know


In a surprising turn of events, a suspended Alabama priest recently tied the knot with an 18-year-old woman he fled to Italy with earlier this summer. State records confirm the marriage, while Archbishop Thomas J. Rodi expects the Vatican to pursue the priest’s official dismissal from the priesthood. This article delves into the details surrounding this controversial union and the potential repercussions for the priest involved.

The Suspended Priest and the 18-Year-Old

The suspended Alabama priest at the center of this story is Alex Crow, a 30-year-old Catholic clergyman based in south Alabama. Crow, who occasionally visited theology classes at McGill-Toolen High School, left the country with the 18-year-old woman, who recently graduated from the same school. The marriage certificate filed in Mobile County indicates that the woman turned 18 in June, just prior to their wedding.

Suspension and Dismissal from the Priesthood

Archbishop Thomas J. Rodi announced the suspension of Alex Crow in July, forbidding him from acting, dressing, or presenting himself as a priest. The recent news of Crow’s civil marriage further reinforces the Archbishop’s judgment. Archbishop Rodi anticipates that the Vatican will eventually laicize Alex Crow, effectively dismissing him from the priesthood.

Closure of Criminal Investigation

The Mobile County District Attorney, Keith Blackwood, announced the closure of the criminal investigation into the relationship between the suspended priest and the 18-year-old. It was reported that the young woman, accompanied by an attorney, declined to answer any questions during the meeting. As a result, no criminal charges were filed against either party involved.

Potential Implications for the Catholic Church

The marriage of a suspended priest to a young woman has raised significant concerns within the Catholic Church. Instances like these can tarnish the reputation of the church and its clergy. The Vatican’s pursuit of Alex Crow’s dismissal from the priesthood is an indication of their commitment to upholding the integrity and moral standards associated with the clergy.

Protecting the Vulnerable

The case of the suspended Alabama priest marrying the 18-year-old woman highlights the importance of safeguarding vulnerable individuals. The age difference between the two parties raises questions about the potential for manipulation or coercion. It serves as a reminder for institutions to prioritize the safety and well-being of their members, particularly when power dynamics are at play.

The Role of the Vatican

The Vatican plays a crucial role in handling cases involving clergy members accused of misconduct. In this instance, Archbishop Rodi expects the Vatican to take action against Alex Crow and pursue his dismissal from the priesthood. The Catholic Church’s response to such situations is essential for maintaining the trust of its followers and ensuring the accountability of its clergy.

Impact on the Local Community

The suspended priest’s actions have undoubtedly impacted the local community, especially those connected to McGill-Toolen High School. The school, known for its Catholic affiliation, must address the repercussions of this incident on its reputation and the perception of its educational environment. Open communication and transparency are vital in regaining the trust of students, parents, and the wider community.

Lessons for the Church

This incident offers several lessons for the Catholic Church and its leadership. It underscores the importance of rigorous background checks and ongoing monitoring of clergy members to prevent potential misconduct. Additionally, it highlights the need for clear guidelines regarding appropriate relationships between clergy and members of their congregation, particularly when dealing with vulnerable individuals.

Moving Forward

As the case of the suspended Alabama priest marrying the 18-year-old unfolds, it serves as a reminder of the challenges faced by religious institutions in maintaining the trust and confidence of their followers. The actions taken by the Catholic Church and the Vatican in addressing this situation will undoubtedly shape their response to future incidents of a similar nature.


The marriage between a suspended priest and an 18-year-old woman has sparked controversy in Alabama. State records confirm the union, while Archbishop Thomas J. Rodi expects the Vatican to pursue the priest’s dismissal from the clergy. The closure of the criminal investigation further adds to the complexity of this case. As the Catholic Church and the community grapple with the implications of this incident, it presents an opportunity for reflection, growth, and the implementation of measures to safeguard vulnerable individuals within religious institutions.

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