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Priest Blames ‘Racist Dog’ For Not Hiring Black Cleaner At Church

by : Emma Rosemurgey on : 19 Aug 2019 18:36
Priest Blames 'Racist Dog' For Not Hiring Black Cleaner At ChurchPriest Blames 'Racist Dog' For Not Hiring Black Cleaner At ChurchReverend Jacek Kowal/LinkedIn/Google Maps

A Catholic priest has caused controversy after blaming his ‘racist’ dog for not allowing him to hire a black woman as a cleaner.

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Staff working at a church in Memphis, Tennessee, reportedly told African American trainee cleaner LaShundra Allen ‘I’m sorry, we are not trying to be rude, but the dog doesn’t like black people.’

They were said to be referring to Reverend Jacek Kowal’s German shepherd, Ceasar, who staff have described as being ‘kinda racist.’

Priest Blames 'Racist Dog' For Not Hiring Black Cleaner At ChurchPriest Blames 'Racist Dog' For Not Hiring Black Cleaner At ChurchFox13

Speaking to Fox13, Kowal cited this as being down to Ceasar having ‘had a bad experience with a stranger who happened to be African American’ when he was a puppy.

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Allen told the news channel:

I didn’t even know what to say. They were acting like I was just supposed to be ok with it. Joking around with it, and I’m just like, ‘That’s not ok. You just told me you didn’t want me in your house because I’m coloured skinned.

The incident happened when Emily Weaver, a white cleaner who had previously worked for the church, brought Allen with her to the Catholic Church of the Incarnation in Collierville, with a view to taking over her cleaning duties there.

Priest Blames 'Racist Dog' For Not Hiring Black Cleaner At ChurchPriest Blames 'Racist Dog' For Not Hiring Black Cleaner At ChurchGoogle Maps

In response, the Catholic Diocese of Memphis said Allen’s treatment by the church was ‘not motivated by racial animus.’

The statement, from Bishop David Talley, said Ceasar had become ‘somewhat more agitated initially around strangers with darker skin, until the dog gets to know them.’

However, Weaver has criticised the church’s explanation, and questioned why Allen wasn’t given the chance to get to know Ceasar.

She told the Commercial Appeal:

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Why wasn’t LaShundra given the chance to get to know him?

Those staff represent a religion, a church, a school. In fact, one of the biggest Catholic organizations in the area.

They’re continuing to be disrespectful by attempting to brush the comments made off.

Priest Blames 'Racist Dog' For Not Hiring Black Cleaner At ChurchPriest Blames 'Racist Dog' For Not Hiring Black Cleaner At ChurchPexels

Weaver and Allen have since hired an attorney, who wrote to the church claiming Kowal ‘made no effort to come and meet’ Allen or deny claims his dog is racist.

The letter continued:

The two church office employees then reiterated that Father Jacek ‘did not want (Ms. Allen) there’ and that they needed to leave.

Both Ms Allen and Ms Weaver were shocked, humiliated, and felt severely disrespected by this treatment and the statements.

The two cleaners are said to be so upset by how the church has handled the entire situation, they have decided to continue pursuing legal action.

It’s not quite clear what they want the outcome of their lawsuit to be.

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Emma Rosemurgey

Emma Rosemurgey is an NCTJ trained Journalist who started her career by producing The Royal Rosemurgey newspaper in 2004, which kept her family up to date with the goings on of her sleepy north east village. She graduated from the University of Central Lancashire in Preston and started her career in regional newspapers before joining Tyla (formerly Pretty 52) in 2017, and progressing onto UNILAD in 2019.

Topics: News, Catholic Church, cleaner, memphis, Priest, racist, tennessee

Credits

Fox13 and 1 other
  1. Fox13

    Collierville priest would not allow black woman to clean church, blames his dog

  2. The Commercial Appeal

    Catholic bishop says accusations of racism against Collierville priest are unfounded