Bishop Robert Byrne resigned as the Bishop of Hexham and Newcastle in December. However, in a rare intervention, the Roman Catholic Church is reportedly examining the circumstances of his resignation amid allegations that a sex party was held during a coronavirus lockdown at St Mary’s Cathedral, Newcastle.
There is no suggestion that Bishop Byrne was either at the alleged party in a priest’s living quarters next to the cathedral, or was aware of it.
Father Michael McCoy, who was dean during lockdown, is alleged to have approached a number of worshippers asking if they would like to attend “a party” at the cathedral, a source told the newspaper, which reportedly prompted a number of complaints.
However, Canon McCoy took his own life, aged 57, in April 2021, days after he discovered Northumbria Police’s child and adult protection department was investigating him after a “non-recent” allegation of child sex abuse was made against him.
So, hands up everyone who thinks that it was adult human females being asked? Or even a number of them sufficient to have a usefully mixed party?