The Bishop of Galway responded when a priest was put on indefinite leave from his diocese after posting videos on social media containing innuendos and jokes.
One joke referred to playing songs like Highway to Hell at a funeral mass.
In a statement to be read to parishioners in Gort, Co Galway this weekend, Bishop Brendan Kelly refers to âheartbreaking informationâ regarding the 44-year-old parish priest, Father Michael King.
He confirms that the priest is “on indefinite leave from all functions” and will be absent from the parish “for the foreseeable future”.
âI fully understand that you are feeling hurt and disappointed at this time,â added Bishop Kelly.
The move follows the posting of a number of crass videos of Father King on the social media platform TikTok, in which he appears topless and alludes to sex and alcohol.
One article features a clip of a woman using a hairdryer between her legs alongside a video of the priest, who asks her what she is doing. “I’m warming up your dinner,” she replies, before Father King says “I’m hungry.”
He appears to be lying on a bed and not wearing tall in the video.
In another TikTok article, the parish priest enthusiastically declares that it’s âthirsty Thursdayâ and âpub time is half upâ before saying âGlug, glug, glug, glug, glugâ¦ beer. Attractive.”
Fr King laughs and lip-syncs in a third video captioned “Me in charge of a Funeral playlist,” which features clips from songs such as Queen’s Another One Bites the Dust, BeeGee’s Staying Alive and the dance hit You. ‘ll Never See. Me again.
He also featured on an article by another TikTok user, in which he told her “Pineapples don’t go on pizza, bitch, and carrots don’t go in cakes, okay?”
Father King, a native of Renmore in Galway, was ordained a priest in 2016 and had served as vicar of the parish of Gort in the south of the county before being put on indefinite leave.
Last August he was also appointed administrator of the parish of Kilbeacanty / Peterswell and priest in charge at Beagh.
Prior to becoming a priest, Father King had worked as a bartender at several nightclubs in Galway City and was an amateur actor, appearing in a number of theatrical productions.
In his message to parishioners this weekend, Bishop of Galway, Kilmacduagh and Kilfenora Brendan Kelly will say, âMany of you have learned over the past few days of heartbreaking information about Father Michael King.
“I want to inform you that as of last Monday, Father King is on indefinite leave of absence from all functions and will be absent from the parish for the foreseeable future.”
âIn terms of coverage of his ministry, the priests of our local deanery will organize the coverage as best they can, but subject to their limited resources, and I am very grateful to them.
âI fully understand that you are feeling hurt and abandoned right now. I want to assure you that Father King receives all the help and support he needs. I ask you to join me in praying for him, âsaid Bishop Kelly.