BY SCO Admin | September 29 | comments icon 0 COMMENTS     print icon print

28-BISHOP-CONRY

English Bishop resigns

Bishop Kieran Conry of Arundel and Brighton announced his resignation in a letter to parishioners, which preceded separate accusations about an affair with a married woman

Bishop Kieran Conry of Arundel and Brighton has resigned after admitting to a relationship that broke his clerical vows.

The resignation of the member of the Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales was announced in a letter read out to parishioners at the weekend.

It came shortly before a national Sunday newspaper published accusations that the bishop had a separate affair with a married mother of two, which he denies.

In his letter to parishioners, Bishop Conry said he was sorry to confess that he had been unfaithful to his promises as a Catholic priest. “I would like to reassure you that my actions were not illegal and did not involve minors,” he writes. “As a result, however, I have decided to offer my resignation as bishop with immediate effect and will now take some time to consider my future.

“I want to apologise first of all to the individuals hurt by my actions and then to all of those inside and outside the diocese who will be shocked, hurt and saddened to hear this. I am sorry for the shame that I have brought on the diocese and the Church and I ask for your prayers and forgiveness.”

Bishop Conry was ordained in 1975 and is a former director of the Catholic Media Office in London. He was consecrated as fourth bishop of Arundel and Brighton at Arundel Cathedral in June 2001.

Following the allegations being made public, Bishop Conry said he was relieved. “It has been difficult keeping the secret,” he said. “In some respects I feel very calm. It is liberating. It is a relief. I have been very careful not to make sexual morality a priority [in his sermons].”

The newspaper claims to have seen love letters between the bishop and the married woman, whose husband is threatening to sue the Catholic Church, alleging they were aware of the affair. The bishop admitted that the woman in question stayed at his house twice.

 

Pic: Mazur

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