Pope Francis accepts resignation of Bishop who had affair with married woman
Pope Francis has accepted the resignation of a British bishop who stood down after admitting to an affair with a woman, the Vatican said on Monday.
“The Holy Father Francis has accepted the resignation of Bishop Kieran Conry from the dioceses of Arundel and Brighton,” a statement said.
Conry, 64, apologised in a letter to parishioners to being “unfaithful to my promises as a Catholic priest” but underscored his actions were not illegal and did not involve minors. The Catholic Church has come under pressure to reconsider the tradition of clerical celibacy, which is not an unchangeable doctrine but has been practised for hundreds of years. Proponents argue a change could slow a sharp decline in ordinations in Europe.
Conry, who was appointed by Pope John Paul II in 2001 as bishop of Arundel and Brighton in southeast England, has admitted to having a sexual relationship with a woman six years ago.
He resigned after a British press report that the estranged husband of another woman hired a private detective to follow his wife, who had slept at the bishop’s house. The bishop has said that the latter relationship was merely a close friendship.
He told The Sunday Times that he hopes to retain a role in the Church. “When a priest makes a promise of celibacy, he promises to remain unmarried, that’s all. Then the ordinary rules of morality apply,” Conry told the newspaper on Sunday.
“But I’d like to make it clear I’m not calling for a change. I did wrong. “Celibacy may be a tradition rather than an article of faith but the vast majority of priests are faithful to their promise, faithful to what the church expects of them. And I have great respect and admiration for that.”
Source: Standard Media