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Parishioners Back Axed Priest


Parishioners have supported a parish priest who has been removed from his post by church bosses after claims he stalked a former altar boy online.

Father Frank King, who was in charge of both St Aidan’s Church in Coltness and St Mary’s Church in Cleland, was axed by the Diocese of Motherwell after a complaint that he harassed Tony Moore.

It emerged that the priest was rebuked by the Bishop of Motherwell Joseph Toal over a string of messages he sent on Facebook to Tony asking him to meet up or go for dinner.

Hairdresser Tony met with Bishop Toal and showed him the messages and raised concerns about Father King’s behaviour.

Father Liam O’Connor, assistant priest at Our Lady of Lourdes, East Kilbride, and chaplain to Hairmyres Hospital, took mass at St Aidan’s.

One man, who asked not to be named, said: “Father King was very hard-working and was looking after both St Aidan’s and St Mary’s.

“I am really angry and shocked by what I've heard.”

Another added: “I was disappointed by what I heard. I feel he was stitched up.”

The Very Rev. Joseph Clements, outside the church said: “Father King has carried out a lot of hard work on behalf of the church. He was very well liked by the parishioners.”

Father King only left St Thomas’ Church in Wishaw about two weeks ago due to various changes within the diocese. Before he left parishioners there held a farewell mass for him.

Father Liam O’Connor, will administer St Aidan’s and St Mary’s during Father King’s absence, beginning on Monday, September 14.