By Matt Palmer
Father Joseph Barr, pastor of the Church of the Immaculate Conception in Towson, confirmed in a Jan. 22 letter to parishioners that associate pastor Father Mark Stewart Bullock has been removed from ministry and will no longer reside at the parish rectory after being arrested Jan. 16 in Harford County.
According to public case information from the District Court of Maryland, 47-year-old Father Bullock was charged with indecent exposure stemming from a Jan. 16 incident. Charging documents state that Father Bullock was arrested during a patrol check at the Bush River Book Store located at 3909 Pulaski Highway in Abingdon.
Ordained by Cardinal William H. Keeler June 24, 2006 at the Cathedral of Mary Our Queen in Homeland, Father Bullock is a former floral designer and was a lifelong parishioner of St. Clare in Essex.
Before being assigned to Immaculate Conception, Father Bullock served at St. John the Evangelist in Severna Park.
“I realize that this information may be shocking and painful for you to hear, which I sincerely regret,” Father Barr wrote in his letter to parishioners. “However, in the interest of transparency and out of an abundance of care for this parish and our community, I wanted to share this news with you directly and ask for your prayers for Father Bullock and for our parish.”
In his letter, Father Barr said “it is important to note that no adults or children from the parish, or our parish school, were involved.”
He wrote that “upon learning of the incident, Cardinal-designate (Edwin F.) O’Brien immediately removed Father Bullock’s faculties to function as a priest and initiated an investigation to learn more about the incident.”
Father Barr continued in his letter: “The Archdiocese has instructed Father Bullock to undergo a psychological evaluation. His removal from ministry is indefinite and means that he is not permitted to celebrate Mass publicly or present himself in any way as a priest.”
Father Bullock is not permitted to attend or participate in any parish or school functions.
Father Barr’s letter also encouraged parents to decide how to best inform their children of the incident. Anyone who has any knowledge or information that may be relevant to this matter is asked to contact Monsignor Jim Hannon, associate director of clergy personnel, at 410-547-5302.
Jennifer Williams contributed to this story.