Last December, Pope Benedict XVI named Massachusetts episcopal vicar Arthur M. Coyle a Prelate of Honor, the second of three monsignor ranks within the Catholic Church. Yesterday, police allegedly discovered Coyle with a prostitute behind a cemetery.

The Boston Globe reports that law enforcement saw Coyle with a woman who'd been previously arrested on prostitution charges in the passenger seat of his Chevy. The cops waited five minutes, then approached the parked car, where they "separated" (uh?) the two suspects. Coyle later admitted he'd offered her $40 for oral sex.

Yesterday wasn't the first time local officers noticed the clergyman driving around an area frequented by sex workers, according to a police report submitted to the court and read by the Boston Globe. "Coyle had been spotted a dozen times in the past circling a neighborhood known for prostitution, noting, in particular, an incident in November. . . When police asked why he had been circling an area known for prostitution, he denied doing so and went home."

Today, the 62-year-old pled not guilty to charges of paying a fee for sexual conduct. Soon after, the Archdiocese of Boston announced that the Reverend Monsignor had submitted to a voluntarily leave of absence, asking "for prayers for all impacted by this matter."

[ / photo via Archdiocese of Boston]

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