Glasgow & West Scotland

Priest investigated over claims of relationship with teenage girl

A priest is being investigated over allegations he had a sexual relationship with a teenage girl.

Father John Sweeney, 41, has been suspended by the Archdiocese of Glasgow.

He will not carry out any parish duties at Saint Maria Goretti in the city's Cranhill area until further notice.

Father Sweeney was arrested and charged under a section of the Sexual Offences Scotland Act which alleges he committed a sexual abuse of trust.

He was due to appear at Glasgow Sheriff Court earlier this week but was released while investigations continue.

It is understood the allegation involves a 17-year-old girl.

'Further inquiries'

It has also emerged the priest is under investigation for allegedly making a sectarian comment.

A spokesman for the Archdiocese of Glasgow said "The Archdiocese is co-operating fully with the police as they continue their inquiries

"Father Sweeney will not perform any parish duties until further notice.

"Given that this is now an active case any further comment is not possible at this time."

A Crown Office spokesman said: "The procurator fiscal received a report concerning a 41-year-old male in connection with alleged incidents said to have taken place between July 1 2016 and June 28 2017."

He said the man had been "liberated from custody pending further inquiries" and had not appeared in court.

Father Sweeney was appointed parish priest at Saint Maria Goretti in September 2013.

His lawyer, Calum Ross, refused to comment.

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