Catholic priest from the Fens steps down following historic child sex abuse claims
- Credit: Archant
A Roman Catholic priest from March has voluntarily stepped down while he is investigated for historic child sex abuse claims relating to his former ministry in Peru.
A statement released by Bishop Alan Hopes and the Diocese of East Anglia on Friday (March 20) explains Father Michael Ryan had recently been accused of the non-recent sexual abuse of children.
It says he voluntarily stepped down from his responsibilities while the investigation is ongoing and that the accusations have been reported to the relevant authorities, including police.
The statement, uploaded to the Catholic Church in March website, reads: “Whilst the investigation is ongoing, Father Ryan has voluntarily withdrawn from all public ministry.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.
You may also want to watch:
“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.”
Father Ryan was 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.
- 1 Fire destroys family bungalow in the Fens
- 2 Man found dead in March
- 3 Shocks all round as police pull over 'white van man'
- 4 Driver leaves girl 'very shaken' after ploughing into car
- 5 WATCH: Flying Scotsman steams through Cambridgeshire Fens
- 6 Brother pays tribute to 'strongest character I've ever known'
- 7 Every little helps for surprised shopper thanks to Tesco worker
- 8 Father-of-five murdered due to 'drug deal dispute gone wrong'
- 9 Inspirational teen's charity walk raises £500 to support ill children
- 10 Seven men jailed for stealing bikes worth £70k
The statement continues: “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.”
According to the Diocese website, Father Ryan was ordained on September 12, 1981. He was installed as the parish priest of Our Lady of Good Counsel & St Peter in November 2018.
He was installed as the parish priest of Our Lady of Good Counsel & St Peter in November 2018. Bishop Hopes attended the ceremony alongside representatives from across the Fenland community.
As temporary measure, the Parish of March & Chatteris is under the care of the Parish of St. Luke Peterborough.
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.”