“In an effort to further strengthen the bonds between the young creative artists who make up a large part of our community and the parish, I agreed to the filming after a general search of the artists involved did not reveal anything questionable,” he wrote.
Numerous recent videos and pictures posted to Carpenter’s social media feeds reveal images of the 24-year-old in risqué clothing, often provocatively dancing or posing.
Gigantiello said that he was not present for filming but added that he removed the Blessed Sacrament from the church prior to shooting.
“The parish staff and I were not aware that anything provocative was occurring in the church nor were we aware that faux coffins and other funeral items would be placed in the sanctuary. Most of the video was supposed to be filmed outside, near the church, which it was,” he wrote.
“While I take full responsibility for the erroneous decision to allow the filming, I want to assure you that I had no knowledge that such a scene would be filmed in our church, which we worked so hard to restore to its present sacred beauty,” the priest wrote.
“I further affirm that a lapse in judgment such as this will never take place again as I fully devote my every action to preserving the sanctity of the parish and faith community with which I am entrusted as I have done over my seven years as pastor here at Our Lady of Mount Carmel-Annunciation,” he wrote.
Although Gigantiello no longer has administrative oversight of the parish, Brennan allowed him to remain the pastor.
“Many people have expressed to me that they feel these consequences and the extent of my lack of due diligence are not equal, but I place myself at the mercy of God. All I ask of you is your forgiveness and prayers and that you be at my side, as I have been for you as I have been for the last 29 years of my priesthood,” he wrote.
“After much prayer and reflection over the last few days, I have come to the realization that this may be God’s way of calling me to reflect on my great number of responsibilities in order to discern his will,” he wrote.
Annunciation of the Blessed Virgin Mary Church underwent a multimillion-dollar renovation that was completed in 2019, according to The Tablet, the diocese’s news outlet.
For more than 100 years the church has been a home to Lithuanian Catholics, the outlet reported.
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