Senior Belfast priest stands aside

Published Monday, 05 September 2011
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A senior Catholic priest has temporarily stood aside from his duties, the diocese of Down and Connor has confirmed.

Father Hugh Kennedy, the administrator of St Peter's Cathedral in west Belfast, said he took the decision after talks with Bishop of Down and Connor Noel Treanor.

No details have been revealed as to why he had stopped working as a priest at the Cathedral.

In a statement, Father Kennedy said he took the decision after meeting with Bishop Treanor in July.

The 55-year-old added: "Bishop Treanor requested me to 'stand aside' from all my priestly/cathedral duties on foot of 'information' he had received.

"This information was not shared with me.

"Following from this, I have ceased working as a priest at the Cathedral.

"I have no hesitation in co-operating with church/state authorities in light of this development."

Father Kennedy was ordained a priest in 1981 when he was studying at the Irish College in Rome. He was appointed administrator at St Peter's in 2006.

© UTV News
Comments Comments
Nuala in Belfast wrote (1,236 days ago):
Whoever is bringing charges against Father Kennedy should be ashamed of themselves. I have had the pleasure of having Father Kennedy as my parish Priest when he was in Sacred Heart Parish in North Belfast. He is one of the most holiest priests that i have EVER come across. Whatever these allegiations are i refuse to believe them, he has always spoken up most fervently against child abuse whether it be clerical or in institutions. This is clearly the devil alive and well and using someone to attack Chrit's church from within. Well I for one am a proud young Catholic Woman and while these cases of abuse by priests are unforgiveable and have wounded the church, it will not see the destruction of Catholicism. Christ Jesus is eternal.
peter in belfast wrote (1,243 days ago):
treanor needs to put people's mind at rest come on stand up and be counted i dont think it anything to do with kids but as a leader treanor needs to explain has the church not learned anything and they wonder why people are falling away
Jamesbelfast in Belfast wrote (1,243 days ago):
Whats all the rush for seeking information?? Would anyone think it right for someone to release details which could compromise any investigation or damage someones reputation unecessarliy or allow the guilty to escape. Think about it folks - how would you like to be treated if you were in a similar situation.
francis in belfast wrote (1,243 days ago):
i myself attend st peters and hav done for many years i think we should be told by bishop trainor excatly what is going on and lets not jump to conclusions and label fr kennedy
paula in st peter parishores wrote (1,243 days ago):
Bishop Treanor shoud inform all the people of st peters parish why father kennedy has been asked to stand aside as a priest. Bishop treanor should have more than one priest in the parish. Treannor wouldnt be long doing the mass himself if the people stopped putting the money in the envelops and basket. st peters belonges to the people.
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