FORT WALTON BEACH - Allegations of sex abuse shakeup a catholic church in Fort Walton Beach.
The Diocese of Pensacola-Tallahassee has removed Monsignor Michael Cherup as pastor of St. Mary’s Catholic Church, pending the outcome of an investigation into alleged sexual abuse.
The Diocese says it was notified July 19 that someone accused Cherup of abusing them in 1993 when the victim was 15-years-old. The Diocese says it also encouraged the victim to notify police. It then reported the allegation to the State Attorney’s Office.
Following an internal investigation, the Diocese removed Cherup of his duties on Thursday. Parishioners were notified over the weekend.
According to a news release from the Diocese, Cherup “may not publicly celebrate the sacraments or function as a priest.”
“Whenever all allegation of sexual abuse is brought forward, it causes great pain for all involved,” said Bishop Gregory Parkes. “I assure everyone involved in this difficult situation of my prayers.”