Lockyer Valley priest stood down, now under investigation
A LOCKYER Valley Catholic priest has been stood down from ministry by his home diocese in Nigeria following allegations of misconduct in his native country.
The Archdiocese of Brisbane confirmed Father Malachy Onuoha, the parish priest of Gatton and Laidley, was stood aside while in Nigeria on holidays pending an investigation into allegations of misconduct "some years ago".
A member of the Gatton and Laidley parish said they were aware of the allegations but declined to comment on the issue.
The spokesperson did confirm, however, that Fr Onuoha had been serving as the parish priest across a number of churches in the area since 2013.
They said local parishioners had been made aware of the situation and declined to comment any further.
FR Onuoha was the parish priest at St Patrick's Catholic Church in Laidley and the St. Mary's Catholic Church in Gatton among others in the district.
The Archdiocese of Brisbane said FR Onuoha would remain in Nigeria while the investigation into the allegations is conducted by an independent panel appointed by his Bishop.
Archbishop Mark Coleridge said Fr Onuoha's return to the ministry would depend on the outcome of the investigation.
He said there were no allegations against Fr Onuoha in regards to his time in the Lockyer Valley.
"The Archdiocese has only recently been made aware of the allegations and the investigation. None of the allegations refer to Fr Onuoha's time in the Archdiocese," Archbishop Coleridge wrote in a letter to Gatton-Laidley parishioners.
"However, the Archdiocese this week conducted a review of Fr Onuoha's ministry in the Archdiocese.
"We are not aware of any complaints of Fr Onuoha's conduct since his arrival in Brisbane."
Archbishop Coleridge said the Archdiocese had measures in place should anyone wish to raise concerns about any paid or voluntary personnel in the Catholic Church.
The Church's Professional Standards Office, based in Brisbane, examines all complaints of inappropriate behavior and refers matters to the relevant authority for investigation.
The Professional Standards Office can be reached on a confidential help line at 1800 337 928.