Fr John McManus, Priest of the Diocese of Down and Connor Restored to Priestly Ministry
19th December (Vigil Mass in Portaferry) and 20th December (Morning Mass in Ballygalget) 2015
Statement by Bishop Noel Treanor
I am pleased this evening / morning to announce the return of Fr John McManus to priestly ministry within the Diocese of Down and Connor.
In 2011, in accordance with the requirements of both civil law and of Church policy, as set down by the National Board for the Safeguarding of Children in the Catholic Church (NBSCCCI), the PSNI and Social Services were notified of safeguarding issues that had been raised. Fr John McManus requested and was granted administrative leave to facilitate an investigation.
After a thorough investigation by the police and the Public Prosecution Service and upon completion of a canonical judicial inquiry, with which both Fr John McManus and the Diocese co-operated fully, the canonical judicial inquiry concluded that there were not and are not any safeguarding issues that prevent his return to ministry.
I wish Fr John many happy years of fruitful ministry after the past 4½ years during which time he has been supported by his family, by friends and by you, his parishioners. I thank you, the parishioners of Portaferry and Ballygalget, for your support for Fr John which you have expressed through your prayers, thoughts and acts of kindness.
Statement by Father John McManus
This evening / morning on the announcement of my return to ministry, I am both delighted and privileged to join with you for the celebration of your Sunday Mass on this the fourth Sunday of Advent, when the Church looks forward in joyful hope to the celebration of the Feast of the birth of Jesus.
The last time I celebrated Mass in this Church of Saint Patrick was on the 9th March 2011, Ash Wednesday when I informed you that I had requested administrative leave from ministry for the duration of the necessary inquiries.
Since then, I have been very much at home living here among you. I wish to thank especially my family……, my neighbours and friends of all faiths and none… for their support and kindness shown to me during this time.
In this Mass let us pray for each other, for those who have been hurt or neglected by the Church, for all who are suffering in the world and for the Church under the leadership of Pope Francis.
In the words of the Advent Blessing:
“As you run the race of this present life, may He make you firm in faith, joyful in hope and active in charity.”
May God continue to bless you, and all of us, one and all.
Notes for Editors:
- The statements above were delivered within the context of the 4th Sunday of Advent Evening Vigil Mass in Portaferry on Saturday 19th December and the morning Mass in Ballygalget on Sunday 20th December. Bishop Noel Treanor and Fr John McManus concelebrated these two Masses together within the parishes in which Fr John McManus ministered before taking administrative leave.
- Bishop Noel Treanor and Father John McManus will not be available for interview.