Priest’s racist dog prevents him hiring black cleaner

Legal action has been taken against a priest from Memphis, Tennessee, whose racist dog supposedly prevented him from hiring a black woman as a cleaner.

Church staff for Fr Jacek Kowal reportedly told African American LaShundra Allen, “I’m sorry, we are not trying to be rude, but the dog doesn’t like black people.”

Allen was with Emily Weaver, the white woman who had previously cleaned the rectory, who was intending to train her to be her replacement.

After receiving a complaint last month about the matter, Bishop David Talley said in a letter to area Catholics that while the “parish staff member’s choice of words was highly unfortunate and imprecise—they were not motivated by racial animus.

“Rather, the concern by all involved was the safety of these women, one of whom was a stranger to the dog, and they knew that attempting to crate the dog would be dangerous when its owner was not present. Their concern was to prevent the cleaning company employees from being injured.”

Talley said he believes Kowal and the parish staff were trying to be cautious, since Kowal’s dog was out of his crate and “very protective of his home.”

Hi letter went on to explain that the dog could be “somewhat more agitated initially around strangers with darker skin, until [he] gets to know them.”

The German shepherd dog had once been threatened by a person who “happened to be African American,” Talley explained.

He also pointed out that although Allen’s denial of work for the priest had been interpreted as a pretext it was nevertheless not motivated by a desire not to have an African American housekeeper.

“In fact, at his previous assignment as pastor, Fr Kowal employed an African American housekeeper the entire five years he was pastor.”

Although Talley is firmly denying any racist motivation in Kowal’s refusal to employ a dark skinned person, both Allen and Weaver think otherwise.

They say the priest made no effort to contact Allen afterwards and no offer was made for her to come back on another day when Kowal would be available to introduce her to the dog.

They say they will continue pursuing legal action.

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