Archbishop Eamonn Martin of Armagh and Administrator of Dromore Diocese has reinstated Canon Francis Brown following his voluntary resignation from Newry parish.
Canon Francis Brown has been reinstated in his role as administrator of Newry Cathedral parish following his voluntary resignation back in May 2018 when he was accused of historical abuse writes Ben King.
This accusation was proved to be wrong and Canon Brown has publicly announced during the celebration of the feast of John the Baptist that he has been cleared of the allegation and he is now glad to return to his rightful ministry in Newry.
Archbishop Eamonn has provided him with a warm welcome back following the investigation and has asked that parishioners to pray for all priests and seminarians in the Diocese of Dromore who act as servants to the faithful.
The Archbishop also asked for us all to pray for those who have suffered in the hands of abuse in the Church and elsewhere to reach out to civil and religious authorities who will help them heal the wounds they have suffered.
Archbishop Eamonn Martin of the Dromore Diocese said: “‘In May 2018 Canon Francis Brown voluntarily stepped aside from all pastoral duties to facilitate the full investigation of information that had been received regarding a historical safeguarding concern.
“Canon Brown and the Diocese of Dromore cooperated fully with the statutory authorities responsible for investigating such matters.
“Following a full investigation by the relevant authorities, no charges were brought by the Public Prosecution Service with regard to Canon Brown.
“The Diocese of Dromore then initiated the Church processes that are required in such cases and these have also concluded that the case against Canon Brown is unsubstantiated. This means that he can immediately return to his ministry.
“I know that Canon Brown has been greatly supported by the prayers and encouragement of many over these past two difficult years. I would ask you to continue to support and help him to settle back in as he begins to resume his duties.
“I am grateful to Fr Des Loughran who stepped in as Administrator for the duration of Canon Brown’s leave and to all who have helped in any way.
“This has been a difficult time for all involved and we offer our prayers for all concerned. The Diocese of Dromore continues to recommend anyone who has suffered abuse of any kind to report it immediately to the local Health and Social Care Trust, and to the PSNI.
“They may also contact the Safeguarding Office of the Diocese of Dromore on 07789917741.
“The Catholic Church also provides confidential services for those who have suffered abuse through Towards Healing and Towards Peace. Towards Healing is a confidential service for those who suffered abuse and can be contacted on 0800 0963315. Towards Peace offers spiritual guidance and support to those victims who wish to engage with their Church and can be contacted on +353 (1) 505 3028.
“This is welcomed news for all parishioners in the Diocese of Dromore and who will be glad of this recent development,” said Archbishop Eamonn Martin.