The following announcement was shared over the weekend with members of St. Theresa Parish in south Edmonton, on behalf of Archbishop Richard Smith:

Late in January, the Archdiocese received a complaint alleging inappropriate conduct by the associate pastor at St. Theresa Parish, Father Aloysius Fernandez. In such situations, our policy is to withdraw a priest from ministry while an investigation is done by the Archbishop’s Delegate for Safe Environments. This policy was applied to Father Aloysius.

I want to assure you that this complaint did not involve sexual abuse or children.

The investigation determined that there was a breach of the Code of Ethics and Accountability, which all ministers of the Gospel are called to follow. For this reason, the Archbishop has decided to remove Father Aloysius from priestly ministry in the Archdiocese of Edmonton. He has left the parish and is returning to his native India, where he will be under the care of the bishop in his own diocese.

This news is distressing news to all of us. It is important to remember that the Archdiocese is committed to safe environments in all our parishes, and that all who serve in ministry are held to the highest ethical standards.

Should anyone wish to speak with me about this, I will be pleased to make myself available after Mass.