Priest Faces Sex Abuse Inquiry

18 March 2015, 14:24 | Updated: 18 March 2015, 14:36

A priest has been removed from his parish while police investigate allegations of historical sex abuse.

A complaint was made to the Diocese of Motherwell about the 79-year-old, a priest at a church in North Lanarkshire.

It was passed to police earlier this month and the diocese said he "will not be in active parish ministry for an unspecified period of time".

He is said to have agreed to the suspension.  Priests from nearby churches will look after his congregation and he's moved out of the parish house while the allegations are investigated.

A spokesman for the Diocese of Motherwell said the priest "will not be in active Parish ministry for an unspecified period of time".

The Bishop of Motherwell, Joseph Toal, and a local priest led masses at the church on the weekend of March 7 and 8, and priests from St Brigid's in Newmains, and the Holy Ghost Fathers from Carfin, are to act as administrators there while the investigation continues.

The statement added: "While the Diocese of Motherwell await the outcome of the police investigation, no further statements will be made."

Police Scotland said it is investigating the case.

A spokesman said: "We can confirm that we have received a report in connection with alleged historical sexual abuse and the matter is currently being investigated.''