Boston Archdiocese Monsignor Arthur Coyle has taken a leave of absence after being caught with a prostitute - who has a history of narcotic offenses - behind the Holy Trinity Polish Cemetery in Lowell, Massachusetts.

According to the Boston Herald, Coyle was arrested after offering to pay the sex worker $40 for oral sex.

Coyle, 62, of Lowell was arraigned yesterday in Lowell District Court where his bail was set at $500. He is scheduled to return to court on September 16 for a pretrial conference, Middlesex district attorney spokeswoman Stephanie Guyotte told the press.

A tersely worded statement from the archdiocese yesterday confirmed that Coyle had volunteered to take a leave of absence from his high profile post as episcopal vicar for the Merrimack Region, a post he has held since 2008.

'While on administrative leave, Monsignor Coyle is prohibited from performing any public ministry,' the statement said.

'These restrictions will remain in place pending the outcome of the case. The steps taken today do not represent a determination of Monsignor Coyle's guilt or innocence as it pertains to these charges.

'The Archdiocese asks for prayers for all impacted by this matter,' the statement ended.

Police told the press that Coyle had been observed cruising an area known to be frequented by prostitutes more than a dozen times in the past.

During his arrest, Coyle reportedly told the police that he hadn't received the oral sex he had reportedly solicited. A press release from the Archdiocese stressed that Coyle was arrested for sexual misconduct 'involving an adult.'

Coyle was ordained a priest in 1977 and appointed an episcopal vicar, a high-ranking official in the church in 2008, according to the archdiocese’s website.