P.E.I. priest suspended following abuse allegation from N.L.

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Religion/Justice

The Roman Catholic priest at St. Malachy's in Kinkora, P.E.I., has been removed from his duties following an allegation of abuse originating in Newfoundland and Labrador from more than 20 years ago.

Rev. George Smith came out of retirement last year to accept a temporary posting as administrator to Kinkora after the priest there, Rev. Keith Kennific, was transferred to St. Pius Xth Parish in Charlottetown.

Charlottetown, P.E.I. -

The Roman Catholic priest at St. Malachy's in Kinkora, P.E.I., has been removed from his duties following an allegation of abuse originating in Newfoundland and Labrador from more than 20 years ago.

Rev. George Smith came out of retirement last year to accept a temporary posting as administrator to Kinkora after the priest there, Rev. Keith Kennific, was transferred to St. Pius Xth Parish in Charlottetown.

Prior to that, Smith served as an associate pastor at St. Dunstan's Basilica and lived in retirement at the parochial house next door.

Rt. Rev. Richard Grecco, bishop of the Diocese of Charlottetown, said he received a call from the Diocese of Corner Brook and Labrador about an allegation of abuse involving Smith.

Smith served in Deer Lake from 1986-91, and was transferred to P.E.I. in 1994.

New protocols approved by Grecco this spring require the removal of any church official or lay volunteer after a criminal allegation has been made.

The Guardian received a call Tuesday from a Borden area resident who said the removal of Smith was made public to parishioners Sunday.

Grecco confirmed diocesan chancellor Rev. John Lacey was sent to Kinkora to read the bishop's letter concerning Smith to parishioners.

Smith is reported to be visiting friends out of province. A new priest is expected to be appointed next week.

Geographic location: P.E.I., Charlottetown, Kinkora Newfoundland and Labrador Deer Lake Borden

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