Wollongong priest Father Ron Peters has been charged with historical indecent assaults.
Father Ron, a co-founder of Illawarra People for Peace, was arrested in Berkeley on Tuesday.
The 61-year-old priest, who is chair of the Diocesan Schools Council and works in many Illawarra school communities, was charged at Lake Illawarra Police Station with three counts of aggravated indecent assault and aggravated indecency.
The charges follow an investigation launched in 2018 by Fairfield police after they received allegations of indecent assaults on a 15-year-old boy at a high school in the Fairfield area in 1993.
Father Ron has been granted conditional bail to appear in Port Kembla Local Court on May 15. He is suspended from the church, according to NSW police.
The Wollongong Diocese refused however to comment on Father Ron's status.
"This is a situation where the police have laid charges and will be bringing the matter before the courts.
"For all involved, this process needs to be given the total respect it deserves," the Diocese said in a statement.
A spokesman refused to answer questions on how parents and students would be informed of any change to Father Ron's status and whether there was counselling available with regard to the sudden removal of a priest.
Illawarra parents who contacted the Mercury said they were concerned about the lack of information.
One said she saw a brief note in a school newsletter late last year saying Father Ron was on leave "with no details".
Another said: "I believe more information and advice on how to talk to children would be very valuable."
Father Ron's profile has this week been removed from the Wollongong Catholic Diocese website.
It previously stated that Father Ron was ordained by Bishop Peter Ingham in 2005 and briefly served in Ruse and Nowra parishes.
He was a chaplain for the Berrima Womens Correctional Facility before being appointed Dean and Administrator to the Wollongong Cathedral in 2006.
He "continues his role as Dean and is now the Administrator of the Lumen Christi Parishes, Wollongong", the site stated.
"He is the Chair of the Diocesan Schools Council and sits on a number of the diocesan school committees."