A priest has been placed on indefinite leave by his diocese after posting videos on social media that featured innuendo and joked about 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 “upsetting information” regarding 44-year-old curate Fr Michael King.
He confirms the priest is “on indefinite leave from all duties” and will be absent from the parish “for the foreseeable future”.
“I fully understand that you feel hurt and let down at this time,” adds Bishop Kelly.
The move follows the publication of a number of videos by Fr King on the social media platform TikTok, in which he appears topless and alludes to sex and alcohol.
In one TikTok post, the curate excitedly declares it’s “thirsty Thursday” and “half past pub time” before saying “Glug, glug, glug, glug, glug… beer. Nice.”
Fr King laughs and lip-syncs in another video captioned “Me in charge of a funeral playlist”, which features clips of songs such as Queen’s Another One Bites the Dust, the BeeGee’s Staying Alive, and the dance hit You’ll Never See Me Again.
He also featured on a post by another TikTok user, in which he tells her: “Pineapple does not go on pizza, bitch, and carrots do not go into cakes, okay?”
Fr King, who is from Renmore in Galway, was ordained in 2016 and had been a curate for the parish of Gort in the south of the county before being placed on indefinite leave.
Last August, he was also appointed as administrator of Kilbeacanty/Peterswell parish and priest-in-charge in Beagh.
Prior to becoming a priest, Fr King had worked as a barman in a number of nightclubs in Galway City and was an amateur actor, featuring in a number of theatre productions.
In his message to parishioners this weekend, bishop of Galway, Kilmacduagh and Kilfenora Brendan Kelly will say: “Many of you have become aware over the past few days of upsetting information concerning Fr Michael King.
“I wish to advise you that, from Monday last, Fr King is on indefinite leave from all duties and will be absent from the parish for the foreseeable future.”
MY RECENT CORRESPONDENCE WITH BISHOP BRENDAN KELLY OF GALWAY
STATEMENT FROM AMERICAN LADY WHO HAD SOCIALMEDIA CONTACT WITH FR KING.
I am Xxxxxx from the USA. In February of this year, I met Father Michael King on a social media chat platform called Wakie. This is a social media place for adults wanting to make friends and more. We communicated on this site from February to April of this year.
At the beginning I did not know he was a priest. I am not a Catholic. Initially my friendship with Father King was just that – friendship. It developed into more and Father King indicated that he wanted more than friendship and that he wanted an online sexual relationship. He asked me to download Skype so that we could have face to face conversations. During these sessions we engaged in mutual masturbation.
Father King told me that he was leaving the priesthood and coming to the USA for us to be together as a couple.
Before communicating on Skype I asked Michael for a picture of himself and he told me that he was a priest and that if I wanted to see him to go to his parish website and watch him celebrating Mass. I did this. One of the ceremonies I watched was at Easter when he celebrated a ceremony that meant him going from station to station in his church.
Michael told he that he was addicted to cocaine and alcohol and he often used cocaine during our face to face meetings on Skype. He generally rang me very late at night for him when he had returned from the pub. Sometimes he brought other men back from the pub with him and they drank and played darts until 4 am.
He told me that he had met a female parishioner in the pub, that they got on well and that after that the parishioner turned up at his presbytery door and they had sex. He said that this had come to light and that his superiors gave him “a slap on the wrist”.
Michael also joined the Transgender / Transexual group on Wakie and I came to believe that he was bisexual or had other sexual issues.
He told me that he has been a drug user since he was a teenager and stopped using for a short while after joining the seminary but slipped back into drug use.
He seems to have no problem accessing cocaine where he lives?
During our Skype chats he also told me that he had been sexually abused by a male relative and when he spoke about this, he became very emotional and cried bitterly.
Michael has indeed hurt me – but I am not a scorned woman. I am a mature woman with a lot of experience of the ups and downs of life, and I only want two things:
That Michael King be prevented from hurting unsuspecting or vulnerable women or men.
That Michael gets and accepts help with his cocaine and drug addictions and psychological problems.
My God! Just when we thought we had heard it all about priestly carry on.
Just FIVE YEARS ORDAINED and into drugs, rock and roll and social media.
It must be asked: “Who recommended him for ordination”?
Is this another product of Maynooth albeit this one is heterosexual?
He should have stayed as a barman in the nightclub.
Currently, newly ordained priests ate a massive mortgage on the Church and laity.