Page last updated at 12:23 GMT, Tuesday, 11 August 2009 13:23 UK

Priest admits he fathered child

St Joseph's Mission to Deaf People
Father Peter McDonough was based at St Joseph's Mission

A Catholic priest has told parishioners in Greater Manchester that he is leaving the church after confessing he has a four-year-old child.

Father Peter McDonough revealed to his congregation at St Joseph's Mission to Deaf People in Salford on Sunday that he had broken his vow of celibacy.

After a "time of reflection", he decided his responsibility should lie with his family, Salford diocese said.

Vicar General Mark Davies said he would be greatly missed.

'Many conversations'

Mr McDonough, who is deaf himself, had dedicated the past 27 years to pastoral care for deaf people.

Mr Davies said: "It was with great sadness that the deaf community and the whole Catholic community in Collyhurst learnt of Father Peter's decision.

"Following much reflection and many conversations with his Bishop, Father McDonough has reached this personal decision.

"The outstanding work of St Joseph's Mission to Deaf People to which he dedicated so many years of his priestly life will continue to be fully supported by the Salford Diocese."

Father Frank Parkinson will take over Mr McDonough's duties in September.

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