Evangelising UK bishop resigns and admits unfaithfulness

The bishop in charge of evangelisation in England and Wales has resigned after revealing he had been “unfaithful” to his “promises as a Catholic priest”.

Bishop Kieran Conry of Arundel and Brighton diocese said in a statement read in churches that his unfaithfulness had gone back several years.

He apologised for the damage and hurt caused by his actions, but he said he had done nothing illegal and no minors were involved.

“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.”

According to a report by The Mail on Sunday, the reasons behind Bishop Conry’s resignation involved a relationship with a woman six years ago.

The newspaper also alleges the bishop was involved more recently with a married woman and mother of two children.

The bishop denied this more recent relationship had anything to do his decision to step down.

The Mail on Sunday reported having seen love letters between Bishop Conry, 63, and the second woman, 43, written in recent months, in which he told her that her husband didn’t love her.

Approached by the newspaper in June, the bishop denied any sexual relationship with the married woman, but admitted she had stayed at his house twice, adding: “She is not the only woman who has stayed here.”

The second woman’s estranged husband, who filed for divorce last month, has labelled the bishop’s behaviour as “appalling” and said he was sickened by it.

The Mail on Sunday understood the woman and her husband became involved with Bishop Conry in church activities last year.

The marriage hit a crisis last year and the woman moved into rental accommodation and became a regular visitor at Bishop Conry’s house.

The husband’s lawyer said legal action against the Church is being considered, because it had allegedly known for years about Bishop Conry’s affairs and took no action.

The Mail on Sunday said Bishop Conry, who is a former press officer for the England and Wales bishops, is “seen as a progressive who has been critical of the Vatican’s hard-line pronouncements”.

Cardinal Vincent Nichols of Westminster said the resignation was a “sad and painful moment”, adding that the Church is made up of sinners called to conversion and repentance.

Sources

News category: World.

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