Reading priest under police investigation

 Following the arrest of Fr Mike O'Kelly, Parish Priest of English Martyrs, Reading, last Friday. Bishop Crispian issued the following statement I was appalled and saddened by the news of the arrest of Fr Mike O'Kelly on suspicion of possessing child pornography. My heart goes out particularly to the community of the parish of English Martyrs in Reading where Fr Michael is the parish priest. They will be devastated by the news and I will be with them to support them over the weekend. I ask everyone to keep the community in their prayers, not forgetting, of course, Fr Michael himself. This matter is being dealt with strictly in accordance with the Diocesan Child Protection guidelines and the recommendations of the Nolan Review. Fr Michael is now on administrative leave until the matter is resolved. Bishop Crispian spoke at all Masses at English Martyrs over the weekend. He told the parish that while it was the first time he had not been happy to be at English Martyrs, it was the only place he could be that weekend. He said that at a time of sadness and difficulty, it was right for the Bishop to be among the parish community. He spoke at some length on the evil of child pornography, and of the need to keep the victims of this vile trade in everyone's prayers. "They are children we do not know - maybe from far away, but they are very real victims," he said. Bishop Crispian went on to stress that the safety and protection of our children must always be of paramount importance in all our communities. The Bishop assured the parish that they were in his prayers and indeed in the prayers of the whole diocese, and pledged his support in the difficult time ahead. source: Portsmouth Diocese

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