A SENIOR vicar caught swearing and complaining about his ecclesiastical duties on Facebook has escaped with a slap on the wrist.
The four-letter outbursts of Canon Dr Paul Shackerley, the priest at Doncaster Minster, were first revealed in the Yorkshire Post on Thursday.
His foul language and comments, which included saying “sin is such fun” and “alas, I have religion tomorrow”, drew condemnation from some parishioners.
Following the revelations Dr Shackerley was summoned to a meeting with the Bishop of Doncaster, Peter Burrows.
Senior clerics said after hearing Dr Shackerley’s profuse apologies and receiving a letter of regret, no further action was necessary.
The bishop said: “This was an HR matter so we had to deal with it very professionally. I have now met with Canon Shackerley as I said I was going to do.
“He deeply regrets the use of inappropriate language on his Facebook page, which he has assured me he has now removed.
“Having conversed with him about it, he clearly meant what he put on Facebook to be jocular and humorous, but he now realises that some of what he said was not acceptable.
“He has apologised unreservedly and sincerely regrets the embarrassment he has caused the congregation at St George’s Minster, the wider church and the people of Doncaster as a whole.
“In light of that, and my conversation with him yesterday, I have received a letter of apology which also assures me that this will not happen again, and we can now draw a line under it.
“Canon Shackerley realises the seriousness of the situation. We feel that we have no reason to take any further action against him at this time.
“He is deeply, deeply regretful for what he has done.”
Dr Shackerley has been told not to make any comment personally and has also been instructed to “take some time out” because of what had happened.
The bishop added: “We have told him to make a bit of space for himself for a while, because this has taken its toll on him a little bit.”
It is understood that the church will be offering new guidance to its clergy and other staff on the use of social networks in the wake of the incident.