Parishioners at St Bride’s in Cambuslang have expressed their delight at the possible return to the parish of Father Paul Morton.
The Catholic Church confirmed last week it had completed its investigation into an allegation of historic sex abuse made against the priest.
Father Morton was cleared by the police in April this year after an eight- month investigation but still faced a further probe by the church.
Immediately after he was cleared, parishioners launched a petition calling for his return. It was eventually signed by over 2,000 people.
The Rutherglen Reformer understands that the church investigation is the second of three stages.
A source said: “The first is the police investigation itself and then there is the church investigation.
“That is now absolutely fine, but then there is a brief period of making sure he’s ok to return, mentally.
“There’s no doubt though that a big, big hurdle has been cleared.”
The news has been welcomed by church goers as well as his family.
A message signed by his brothers and sisters said: “We also wish to offer our heartfelt thanks to all his friends in the parish and beyond who from day one have never doubted his innocence and sought justice on his behalf. We now await Paul’s return to his parish of St Bride’s.”
In an additional statement to the Reformer, they added: “The family would like to add that Father Paul’s return to ministry is absolute proof and vindication of his total innocence of any wrongdoing.
“Father Paul is a man of great spiritual and personal integrity and his return to St Bride’s will be welcomed by his parishioners, the wider Catholic Church and his many friends in other faith- based communities in the Cambuslang area.”
• Full story at the Daily Record/Rutherglen Reformer.