Alabama priest who fled to Italy with teen he later married is expected to be defrocked

MOBILE, Ala. — State records show that a suspended Alabama priest recently married the 18-year-old woman he fled to Italy with this summer, and an archbishop said Wednesday that he expects the Vatican to pursue the man’s official dismissal from the priesthood.

A marriage certificate filed Monday in Mobile County shows that Alex Crow, a 30-year-old Catholic priest in south Alabama, married the 18-year-old. Crow left the country in late July with the teen who is a recent graduate of McGill-Toolen High School. Crow was not an employee at the school but sometimes visited theology classes there, news outlets reported. The marriage certificate indicates the woman turned 18 in June.

Archbishop Thomas J. Rodi announced in July that he had suspended Crow and forbidden him from acting, dressing, or presenting himself as a priest. Rodi later said he saw no way for Crow to return to the priesthood.

“The recent news of Crow’s civil marriage only confirms the Archbishop’s judgment. Archbishop Rodi anticipates that the Vatican will eventually laicize Alex Crow,” read a statement issued by the Archdiocese of Mobile

The district attorney in Mobile County earlier this month announced that it had closed an investigation into criminal wrongdoing in the pair’s relationship. News outlets reported that Mobile County District Attorney Keith Blackwood said the young woman came to a meeting with an attorney and declined to answer questions.

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