The Bishop of the Catholic diocese of Arundel and Brighton which covers Surrey and Sussex, has resigned after admitting he has been unfaithful to his promises as a priest.
Bishop Kieron Conry, who lives in Pease Pottage, issued a statement which was read in all churches of the diocese this weekend.
The statement said: “I am sorry to confess that, going back some years, I have been unfaithful to my promises as a Catholic priest.
“I would like to reassure you that my actions were not illegal and did not involve minors. 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.”
The bishop’s statement continued: “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.”
The bishop, who was appointed in 2001, was known as a liberal and a moderniser in the church.