Leeds Catholic priest voluntarily withdraws from parish on temporary basis over safeguarding procedure

Yorkshire Evening Post

June 18, 2019

A Catholic priest has “voluntarily withdrawn” from service temporarily amid a “safeguarding procedure”, the Bishop of Leeds has confirmed.

The Reverend Fr Patrick Smythe, who has conducted services in the Our Lady of Kirkstall parish since 2006, has been referred to authorities, said the Diocese of Leeds.

In a statement delivered at the end of masses during the weekend, the Right Reverend Marcus Stock, Bishop of Leeds, told parishioners: “In accordance with the safeguarding procedures adopted by the Catholic Church in England and Wales, Fr Patrick Smythe, parish priest of Our Lady of Kirkstall parish, Leeds, has voluntarily withdrawn from ministry temporarily following a referral to the statutory authorities.

“Temporary withdrawal from ministry is a procedural requirement and does not imply any prior determination of the outcome of the referral.

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