A priest in Birmingham diocese has been ordered to stand down from his public duties while police examine allegations of his involvement in child sex abuse. Fr John Gerard Flahive has gone on 'administrative leave' while investigations are carried out by the police and child protection unit. In a written statement read out on Sunday, the Archbishop of Birmingham, the Most Reverend Vincent Nichols, told parishioners at St Thomas More's church in Sheldon, Birmingham, that the alleged incidents, which are said to have taken place around 1980, "do not relate to any aspect of Fr Flahive's current ministry as a priest". The statement said that Fr Flahive's enforced leave is "no implication of guilt", but "prudent action" taken in line with church guidelines immediately after the allegations came to light on Friday. The archbishop added: "This is obviously very distressing for him and he will be given the support he needs at this time. But I also believe that it is distressing for a person to come forward and give a public account of painful memories. Pray, too for all others who are caught up in this matter."
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