Father Robert Manning, a priest of the Archdiocese of St. Louis, has been arrested on charges related to sexual abuse of a minor in Colorado Springs, Colo. The incidents are alleged to have occurred in the fall of 2011 while the priest was serving as pastor at St. Gabriel the Archangel Church in Colorado Springs.
The Colorado Springs Gazette reported that Father Manning was arrested and booked into the El Paso County jail on May 22.
Father Manning had been granted permission to move to the Diocese of Colorado Springs in June 2007 to serve there. In early 2012, he was placed on administrative leave after the diocese received an allegation of sexual abuse of a minor.
According to a statement from the Archdiocese of St. Louis, this is the first time Father Manning has been accused of sexual abuse.
"As soon as the archdiocese learned of the allegations, he was removed from public ministry and brought back to St. Louis with the permission of law enforcement," according to the statement. "Here, Father Manning had been living in a monitored environment while the investigation progressed. When the archdiocese was informed of the warrant for Father Manning's arrest, he was returned to the custody of law enforcement in Colorado Springs. The Archdiocese of St. Louis has been cooperating with authorities in this matter."
Prior to 2007, Father Manning served at several St. Louis area parishes including Immacolata, St. Alban Roe, St. Lawrence the Martyr and at St. John in Imperial.
The Archdiocese encourages anyone with reports of sexual abuse of a minor involving a member of the clergy or other church personnel to contact Phil Hengen, the director of the Office for Child and Youth Protection at (314) 792-7704 or civil authorities.