Jan 22, 2012 6:29 PM by Andy Koen

Accused priest placed on leave

The priest at the center of a sex abuse investigation in Colorado Springs has been placed on administrative leave by the diocese and has temporarily had his faculties as a priest suspended. Father Charles Robert Manning is a priest with the Archdiocese of St. Louis but has recently been serving as pastor of St. Gabriel the Archangel Catholic Church on Scarborough Dr.

During mass on Sunday morning, a handful of audible gasps could be heard among the congregants at St. Gabriel's as the Rev. Rafael Torres-Rico read a statement prepared by Bishop Michael Sheridan which stated that an allegation of sexual abuse of a child had been made against Manning.

The accusations surfaced on January 4, 2012 and were promptly reported to the Colorado Springs Police Department. Torres-Rico added that Manning had been asked to step back from ministry while the claims are investigated.

He reminded the congregation that under both civil and canon law, Manning is presumed innocent until proven guilty.

News 5 conducted online background searches of Manning in both Colorado and Missouri and found no criminal history in either state. St. Gabriel the Archangel Parish was formed in 1998 and reports an average weekly attendance of over 1,100 people.

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