Father Joe LeClair will leave Blessed Sacrament Parish on May 27 to enter treatment for addiction.

In a letter obtained by the Ottawa Citizen, Ottawa Archbishop Terrence Prendergast said LeClair will first go on a planned pilgrimage to Ireland, then visit family in P.E.I.

After that, he will enter a counseling program specifically for clergy with addictions.

The move comes after LeClair said in April he had a "significant" gambling problem, but denied stealing money from the church.

The Citizen had reported that LeClair advanced more than $137,000 to his credit card from Casino du Lac-Leamy in 2009 and 2010, with $250,000 worth of cheques issued to him from the church account.

An audit of church accounts is ongoing, and Prendergast said the parish would be told the results when they are available.

He also said the search for a new priest is underway, and that they will discuss LeClair's future once his counseling is complete.