Priest, 82, quizzed in Rochdale child sex abuse case

An 82-year-old parish priest has been questioned under caution over alleged child sex abuse that spanned two decades in Greater Manchester.

The alleged indecent assault and sexual abuse occurred in the presbytery next door to St Vincent's RC Primary School in Norden, Rochdale, police said.

Investigations began after three women complained to police.

The women were pupils at the school between 1980 and 2000 and police have appealed for more information.

The parish priest, who has not been formally arrested, was serving at St Vincent de Paul RC Church at the time of the alleged offences.

Det Con Christian Chivers said: "While we do not believe there is any reason for current pupils or their families to be unduly concerned, this is extremely serious and upsetting for the victims in this case."

"The safeguarding of pupils is without doubt a top priority for us, the school and Salford Diocese and we are working together as part of this investigation," he added.

In a statement Salford Diocese said: "The diocese is co-operating fully with the police and the statutory agencies in these investigations in line with the robust safeguarding policies put in place by the Catholic Church in this country in recent years."

Police are appealing for former pupils who may have information to contact them.

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