MOBILE, Ala. (WKRG) — The Archdiocese of Mobile Thursday finally gave more clarity to the disturbing situation involving one of its priests.

Father Alex Crow left the country almost a month ago with a recent high school graduate, prompting a criminal investigation.

The Archdiocese clarified Thursday that Crow has not yet been permanently removed as a priest. On its website, the Archdiocese reiterated that Alex Crow is not able to function as a priest publicly and says it has ordered him home.

Mobile County Sheriff Paul Burch who’s investigating Crow, however, said he continues to dress and act as a priest in Italy.

“He took everything related to being a priest with him when he went,” Burch said.

Burch said the girl and Crow appear to have no means of financially supporting themselves, and they may be getting by in Italy through goodwill and hospitality shown to a priest.

“I think Italy has a large Catholic population, but if they knew the things he said and did here, they probably wouldn’t be so welcoming,” the Sheriff said.

The Archdiocese clarified that Crow has not been “defrocked” – or permanently removed from the priesthood as has been widely reported.

For that to happen, Archbishop Thomas Rodi would have to assemble a panel of three priests to hear the case. That process, according to church law, could not begin until January.

The archdiocese said it will pursue the permanent removal of Alex Crow as a priest.

The Sheriff, though, said the Archdiocese’s response to the Crow situation so far has been half-hearted.

“Some of the things that they have done are a little disappointing,” Burch said. “The archdiocese has provided what we asked for. They didn’t go out of their way, but they provided what we asked for.”