A NEWCASTLE Catholic priest has been charged with historical child sex offences on a boy between 1979 and 1980 on the Mid North Coast.
The 76-year-old priest – who is still serving within the Catholic Diocese of Maitland-Newcastle – was arrested and charged at noon on Thursday.
The charges come after a 46-year-old man alleged in 2014 he was sexually abused by two Catholic priests and another man while living on the Mid North Coast.
The boy was between nine and 12 at the time the alleged abuse occurred.
Following inquiries, detectives from Manning/Great Lakes Local Area Command arrested a 76-year-old Newcastle man, at Waratah Police Station at about noon Thursday.
He was charged with three counts of indecent assault on a male.
The priest was granted conditional bail to appear at Forster Local Court on April 5.
Maitland-Newcastle Bishop Bill Wright said in a statement the priest had been stood aside from the ministry but declined to comment further.
“The charges related to matters alleged to have occurred in the 1970s. The priest concerned and I have agreed that he stand aside from ministry,” the statement read.
“We are unable to comment further on this matter at this time, other than to say again that we have and will continue to cooperate with NSW Police in their investigations and that we have confidence in our criminal justice system to deal properly with this matter in due course.”