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Last Updated: Friday, 4 May 2007, 17:43 GMT 18:43 UK
Church apology over Kluk priest
Father Gerry Nugent
Father Nugent was asked to resign in February, the church said
The Catholic Church in Scotland has apologised for the conduct of the priest involved in the Angelika Kluk murder trial.

Archbishop Mario Conti said Fr Gerry Nugent had abused the church's trust and would not work as a priest again.

During the trial Fr Nugent admitted having sex with Ms Kluk who was staying at St Patrick's Church, in Glasgow.

He was accused of lying over his knowledge of the hatch where the Polish student's body was found.

In a statement released by the church, the archbishop for Glasgow said that at times it appeared that the priest had been on trial, which was not the case.

However, he said the 63-year-old had not exercised the required prudence needed by a church operating an "open doors policy".

Archbishop Mario Conti
Fr Nugent's own admissions reveal conduct which has fallen well short of that which is expected of every priest
Archbishop Mario Conti

"His weaknesses and lack of judgement have been exposed," Archbishop Conti said.

"It is my duty, on behalf of the whole archdiocese, to apologise to all who have been hurt or scandalised by what has been revealed to have taken place.

"Fr Nugent's own admissions reveal conduct which has fallen well short of that which is expected of every priest and he has betrayed the trust placed in him by reason of his office."

Archbishop Conti said he had asked for and accepted Fr Nugent's resignation as parish priest on 5 February, 2007.

He said the 63-year-old would no longer "exercise ministry" in his diocese or be recommended for service elsewhere.

The Catholic Church said it was aware of rumours circulating about Fr Nugent's previous sexual conduct.

Church sign
The church is expected to reopen in the autumn

When confronted over an allegation of misconduct by the late Cardinal Winning, Fr Nugent admitted an inappropriate consensual sexual encounter.

The church said the complainer was advised to report the allegation to the police.

Archbishop Conti said psychological assessment of Fr Nugent concluded he had an alcohol dependency and he was given treatment and counselling.

St Patrick's Church is expected to reopen after planned maintenance work in the autumn and a new parish priest will be appointed.

It is expected that Archbishop Conti will lead a formal ceremony which will acknowledge Ms Kluk's murder.

He called on people "to pray for all the victims of this awful case".

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