Vatican to probe ‘lockdown sex party’ at British cathedral, as bishop resigns – LBC

Archbishop Jerome Lloyd OSJVPosted by

Catholic leaders are looking into the sex party as part of a wider inquiry into the circumstances around the resignation of Robert Byrne, who stepped down as bishop of Hexham and Newcastle in December.

Archbishop of Liverpool, leading the investigation, said the Pope’s advisers have asked him to put together “an in-depth report into the events leading up to Bishop Byrne’s resignation”, according to the Sunday Times.

“A number of complaints were made by individuals within the diocese after information came to light about a sex party taking place in the priests’ living quarters attached to Newcastle cathedral,” a source told the paper. There is no suggestion Bisho Byrne took part in or was present at the sex party.

Another source told the paper that before the bishop resigned “the cathedral had become a laughing stock.”

Robert Byrne became bishop in 2019
Robert Byrne became bishop in 2019. Picture: Wikimedia Foundation

Bishop Byrne told his congregation as he stood down that he had been wondering: “What does the Lord require of me?”, and decided his position had become “too great a burden”.

He became bishop in 2019, replacing the popular Father Dermott Donnelly, the older brother of Declan Donnelly, of Ant and Dec fame and was hugely popular, with Father Michael McCoy.

The Sunday Times reported that during lockdown, when churches were largely closed, McCoy asked several people them if they would like to come to “a party” at the cathedral.

McCoy later committed suicide in April 2021 after learning that Northumbria Police were investigating an allegation of historic child sexual abuse against him.

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Vatican to probe ‘lockdown sex party’ at British cathedral, as bishop resigns – LBC

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