Cardinal Sean Brady, who is under intense pressure on child abuse issues, has removed a parish priest in his Archdiocese of Armagh, he told parishioners yesterday.

Brady told a congregation in Armagh that in light of information about the priest's activities, he had asked the priest to take a leave, which he agreed to do.

"This is to allow the civil authorities, who have been informed, to investigate this matter" he said.

"The policy of the Archdiocese of Armagh is that in all matters relating to child safeguarding, the safety and welfare of the child must be our paramount concern," added Brady.

The Cardinal made clear that the priest "continues to enjoy the right to the presumption of innocence while these matters are being investigated."

This latest incident of possible sexual abuse will further weaken Brady's position at a time when some are predicting he will lose his job in the ongoing Vatican investigation of child abuse throughout the Irish Catholic Church.

Brady came under intense pressure when it became public that he had heard testimony from two juveniles in 1975 alleging abuse by notorious pedophile Father Brendan Smyth, and had done nothing about it -- other than to swear the two juveniles to silence on a Bible

Meanwhile, Archbishop of Dublin Diarmuid Martin has called on Catholics who are considering leaving  the Church over the child sex-abuse scandals to consider staying in order to lead reform of the Church.

"The Church in Dublin is still stung by the horrible abuse which innocent children endured through people who were Christ's ministers and who were called to act in Christ's name," said the Archbishop in his Palm Sunday homily.

"If we really understand how we all belong to the one body, then we cannot feel that the answer to renewal in the Church can come about by leaving the Church or by leaving it to others," he added.

Martin said he was committed to work with those who wished to "purify our church from all that has damaged the face of Christ."