bishop quits over ‘shameful’ breach of vows

SHAFAQNA –  A leading Catholic Bishop has dramatically resigned his post after admitting he had been “unfaithful” to his religious vows. The Rt Rev Kieran Conry apologised for bringing “shame” on the church in a statement being read to every church in his Diocese of Arundel and Brighton this weekend. The statement did not make clear exactly how he had breached his religious vows, though Bishop Conry reassured churchgoers that his actions were not illegal and did not involve minors.

“I am sorry to confess that, going back some years, I have been unfaithful to my promises as a Catholic priest,” he said in the statement.

Bishop Conry said he was offering his resignation with immediate effect and would “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,” he said.

“I am sorry for the shame that I have brought on the diocese and the Church and I ask for your prayers and forgiveness.”

Cardinal Vincent Nichols, the head of the Catholic Church in England and Wales, said: “This is a sad and painful moment. It makes clear that we are always a Church of sinners called to repentance and conversion and in need of God’s mercy.

“All involved in this situation are much in my prayers today.”

Bishop Conry, who is originally from Coventry, was ordained in 1975 by Archbishop George Patrick Dwyer of Birmingham.

He was consecrated as fourth bishop of Arundel and Brighton at Arundel Cathedral in June 2001.

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