Former Biloxi Bishop Accused Of "Inappropriate Behavior" With An Adult Man

BILOXI (WLOX) -- WLOX News has learned that a complaint has been filed in Circuit Court alleging retired Biloxi Bishop Joseph Lawson Howze engaged in inappropriate conduct with an adult man. The incident allegedly took place in January 2007.

According to the Biloxi Diocese, a video tape recorded the event in question, but it does not clearly show what happened.

Bishop Thomas Rodi has written a letter addressing the situation, which will be read at all Masses this weekend in the Diocese of Biloxi. Click here to read the complete letter now.

In that letter, Bishop Rodi wrote, "When this video first came to my attention, because it is our practice to always fully cooperate with civil authorities, we promptly reported the matter to the District Attorney. At no time was any effort made to hide the matter."

Bishop Rodi said that because both parties in the matter were adults, no public announcement was made at the time.
Bishop Rodi went on to say that the Diocese offered to pay for counseling for both Bishop Howze and the man bringing the complaint. The complainant did not accept the offer.