An Ohio priest is heading to rehab, his lawyer said, after his drunken, profanity-laced rant from inside a jail cell wound up on YouTube and went viral.
The Rev. Ignatius Kury has taken a leave of absence from Holy Ghost Ukrainian Byzantine Catholic Church in south Akron and plans to enter a clerical rehabilitation center in Maryland next week, his lawyer told CNN.
Yes, Kury has seen the video of himself, and it's clear he's drunk, attorney Walter Benson said.
"He’s an extremely intoxicated priest. I don’t think being a priest saves you from the affects of alcohol," he said. "He’s feeling horrible. He’s unbelievably remorseful for his actions. He's trying to be proactive to address the issues that he has."
Kury, 35, was arrested last Sunday on suspicion of operating a vehicle impaired after driving his car off the road and failing a field sobriety test, Sgt. Chris Adkins of the Brimfield Township Police Department said.
When he was brought back to the police station, Kury blew a .203 in a breathalyzer test, well beyond Ohio's legal limit of .08, according to a police report. While he was handcuffed to the wall in a temporary holding facility, he exposed himself, prompting an officer to videotape his actions.
That's when Kury launched into a irate, occasionally tearful jail cell sermon touching on a wide variety of topics, from Oprah Winfrey and Sarah Palin to Libya and patriotism, as he demanded to be released.
"Christ on the cross, you got these shackles on me," he said. "I'll give you the sermon on the mount, your sermon on the mount is this: get this f-–g bars off me 'cuz I'm getting a rash."
Enslavement becomes a recurring theme during the 23-minute recording in his apparent bid for freedom.
"And I refuse like Johnny Weir. I will say my people have been oppressed for too long! And we will not go along with your shackles. We will not be slaves to you. No, we will continue to rise against you, you Bolsheviks. We are true royalty. I am the viscount and I will not allow you to denounce me nor will I allow you to denounce my family."
At one point, Kury asks the officer – sarcastically, it seems – if performing oral sex on him will expedite his release, and then demurs.
"I am not going to get on my knees... I don't care how long I'm here."
This was Kury's first arrest by Brimfield Police and his fourth on an OVI charge, Adkins said.
"We have behavior from people who are intoxicated along those lines, but you don’t expect it from a priest," Adkins said.
Kury pleaded not guilty at a court appearance Friday and his pre-trial hearing is scheduled for May 10th, his attorney said.
"It doesn’t take away from all the great things that he’s done in our community or in other places," Benson said, such as helping build his parish, counseling people who have lost loved ones, doing community service (for which he has won awards), tutoring special needs students and traveling to Ukraine to help orphans.
"I don’t think he should be judged solely on this one terrible lapse of judgment. "