Bishop Alan Hopes and the Diocese of East Anglia released a statement last week explaining that Father Michael Ryan had recently been accused of the sexual abuse of children in the past.
Father Michael Ryan voluntarily left his position during the investigation and the accusations have been reported to police and to the relevant authorities. This is an ongoing investigation.
The Catholic Church website, reads: “Whilst the investigation is ongoing, Father Ryan has voluntarily withdrawn from all public ministry.
“This is a neutral act which makes no judgement on his guilt or innocence and is in keeping with the national safeguarding policies and procedures of the Catholic Church in England and Wales.
“I would like to affirm that the safeguarding of children and vulnerable people is of paramount importance to the Catholic Church and the Diocese is co-operating fully with the statutory authorities in this investigation.”
Ryan was the serving the parish for Our Lady of Good Counsel & St Peter in St John’s Road, March. Mass services were also held at St Peter & St Paul’s Anglican church in Chatteris.
The statement on the Catholic website says: “I know that this must have come as a shock to you all, but I would ask you to keep all who are involved this ongoing investigation, including Father Ryan in your prayers.
“It would be inappropriate for me to make any further comments at the present but please be assured of my prayers for you all at this time.”
A Suffolk Constabulary spokesman said: “We can confirm we are investigating allegations of non-recent sexual abuse. Enquiries are on-going. No arrests have been made at this stage.”