Irish priest removed from ministry following sex abuse claims

AN elderly Irish priest has been removed from his ministry in Minnesota – following serious allegations of child sex abuse.

The Diocese of Duluth announced that Father Cornelius Kelleher “has recently been credibly accused in the sexual abuse of a minor female.”

The offences are said to have taken place during Father Kelleher’s time as pastor of St Joseph’s Church in Chisholm, Minnesota in the 1970s and 1980s.

When the accusation came to light, 81-year-old Kelleher, who retired last year, was immediately removed from public ministry.

He has been stripped of his abilities to function as a priest in retirement.

The diocese issued a statement, saying: “The Diocese of Duluth is committed to helping identify sexual misconduct on the part of all those who work with children and youth, to offering help and healing to anyone who has been a victim of sexual misconduct on the part of clergy, and to preventing this terrible crime from happening in the future.”

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