A Roman Catholic priest in central Newfoundland has been relieved of his duties with the church and is under investigation by the RCMP.

Richard Salas, 44, originally from the Philippines, was the parish administrator at St. Joseph's in Gander.

Church parishioners were told of his removal during weekend services.

The church did not elaborate on why Salas is being investigated by police.

It is believed Salas is currently vacationing in the Philippines.