Vatican launches extraordinary inquiry into ‘lockdown sex party’ at cathedral as part of wider investigation
Vatican launches extraordinary inquiry into ‘lockdown sex party’ at cathedral as part of wider probe into former bishop’s tenure
The Vatican has launched an extraordinary investigation into a ‘lockdown sex party’ at a cathedral as part of a wider probe into the tenure of a former bishop.
The Roman Catholic Church is investigating the resignation of Robert Byrne as Bishop of Hexham and Newcastle in December.
The Archbishop of Liverpool, who is leading the inquiry, has been asked to prepare “a thorough report into the events leading up to Bishop Byrne’s resignation”, The Sunday Times reported.
There is no suggestion that Bishop Byrne was at the alleged feast or knew of it.
The Roman Catholic Church is investigating the resignation of Robert Byrne (pictured) as Bishop of Hexham and Newcastle in December
During the lockdown, Father Michael McCoy (above), who was the dean at the time, reportedly asked several worshipers if they wanted to attend a ‘sex party’
During the lockdown, Fr Michael McCoy, who was the dean at the time, reportedly asked several worshipers if they wanted to attend a ‘sex party’ at a property adjoining St Mary’s Cathedral in Newcastle.
“A number of complaints have been made by individuals within the diocese after reports emerged of a sex party taking place in the living quarters of the priests attached to Newcastle Cathedral,” a source told The Daily Mail. log.
Another added: ‘The cathedral had become a laughing stock.
A spokesman for the Diocese of Hexham and Newcastle said: ‘The review is ongoing. Prior to Bishop Byrne’s resignation in mid-December, trustees worked with the Charity Commission, following their self-reference to that organization.
Canon McCoy, 57, was found dead in his Newcastle flat in April 2019.
He took his own life days after learning that police were investigating him for a “historical allegation”.
Mr McCoy was visited by officers on April 6 and told that a historic allegation had been made against him and that he would be asked for a voluntary interview at some point.
Pictured: The Cathedral Church of St Mary’s in Newcastle upon Tyne
Canon McCoy, 57, was found dead in his Newcastle flat in April 2019
Detective Sergeant Julie Beattie, of Northumbria Police’s Child and Adult Protection Department, said Mr McCoy was ‘distraught’ but said he would seek his own support from friends and colleagues , and no concerns have been raised about his well-being.
Mr McCoy voluntarily retired from his ministry at the cathedral and moved into an Airbnb.
On April 10, a man came to Mr McCoy’s flat ‘as part of providing support for him’ and became concerned when he got no response.
The concierge service helped him access the apartment, where Mr McCoy was found dead.
Mr. McCoy hadn’t left a note, and his cellphone and tablet had been factory reset, and nothing could be recovered from them.
A professional standards inquiry by Northumbria Police into Mr McCoy’s death ‘found no concerns and no missed opportunity to protect him further’.
An inquest by the diocese also concluded that there was nothing ‘that could or should have been done differently’ to prevent Mr McCoy’s death, and there was no fear at the time that he was a risk to himself.