'I'm going to need help getting out before this becomes a medical emergency,' Father Tom Donovan can be heard telling an incredulous sounding dispatcher during the Nov. 28 call.
'You're stuck in a pair of handcuffs?' the dispatcher asks. '(I was) playing with them and I need help getting out,' Donovan responds.
It's not clear exactly how he ended up in handcuffs or why he feared a medical emergency. Father Donovan was alone in the front room of the rectory.
A spokeswoman for the Diocese of Springfield, Kathie Sass, told the Illinois Times that Donovan's request for a leave of absence was accepted by Bishop Thomas Paprocki not long after the incident.
However she refused to disclose if Donovan was staying at a church-affiliated location or to offer up an explanation for how Father Donovan came to find himself incapacitated in such an unusual manner.