A PRIEST has been suspended pending a police investigation into historic sex abuse allegations.


Father Richard Rodgers was suspended from his North Lanarkshire parish after a complaint was made to the diocese and passed to police.

The 79-year-old, who served at St Mary's Parish Church in Cleland, has been suspended for an indefinite period while the investigation continues.

Bishop of Motherwell Joseph Toal has reportedly stepped in to cover mass at St Mary's while cover from elsewhere in the diocese will be put in place for parishioners in his absence.

A spokesman for the Diocese of Motherwell said: "Following a complaint received by the Diocese and passed to Police Scotland, Fr Richard Rodgers will not be in active parish ministry for an unspecified period of time.

"Fr Rodgers has agreed to this and will not be living in the parish house or undertaking any public ministry.

"Fr Hugh Kelly, of St Brigid's, Newmains, who will be assisted by the Holy Ghost Fathers from Carfin, will act as administrators of St Mary's.

He said no further statements would be made and they awaited the outcome of the investigation.

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

A spokesman from North Lanarkshire Council said they were aware of the allegations but would not be commenting while a police investigation was underway.