Bishop Kieran Conry doubts that A Call to Action and Quest dissent from the doctrines of the Church

A reader of Protect the Pope has sent us a copy of Bishop Kieran Conry’s reply to his concerns about A Call to Action and the homosexual group Quest, in which Bishop Conry expresses doubts about either group dissenting from the doctrines of the Church. Bishop Conry’s admirable quality is that he takes the time to reply to letters sent to him, when some other bishops don’t bother.  Bishop Conry writes:

‘I have received your letter of 26th August with regard to the group calling itself ‘A Call to Action’. I would be interested to see your evidence that makes an explicit link with the group og the same name in the United States, and any published agenda for the group in this county that states the aims that you list. I met with three members of the group in this diocese and it was fairly clear that they had not formulated any agenda. They explicitly rejected the idea that they were pushing for things like the ordination of women.’

[Protect the Pope comment: The aims and objectives document produced following the 2012 Heythrop meeting clearly shows the dissenting agenda of ACTA, and in particular the importance of the ordination of women to their cause. The fact that Sr Myra Poole was invited to address the inaugural meeting of ACTA also shows the importance of women's ordination to ACTA's agenda. It appears that Bishop Conry's subsequent support for ACTA in Arundel and Brighton Diocese is based on his personal lack of knowledge about their true agenda].

‘I think that if we want to give this group publicity and increase their membership, then the easiest things to do is attempt to suppress or ban them’

[Protect the Pope comment: Instead Bishop Conry gives ACTA publicity and the opportunity to increase their membership by giving them official permission to hold meetings in his diocese, on church property, and advertised in many parish newsletters. Don't get the logic of this if Bishop Conry is concerned, as his letter suggests, about giving ACTA publicity and increasing their membership!].

‘With regards Mr Weldon’s blog, I can only tell you that I do not read blogs, but again how can I ban an organisation holding meetings in this diocese? The diocese covers the counties of East and West Sussex, parts of Surrey and Brighton and Hove. I cannot decide what happens in that territory. Any group has the right to free association and Pope Francis recently reminded us that we cannot discriminate against people simply becuase of sexual orientation (as Cardinal Ratzinger did when he was Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith).

[Protect the Pope comment: Bishop Conry is wrong when he states that he 'cannot decide what happens' in the Diocese of Aurndel and Brighton. He can stop groups that dissent from the doctrines and discipline of the Church from using Church property. He can also refrain from supporting groups that dissent from the Church's doctrine, such as when he recently sent a letter of support to Quest's 40th national conference or when he gave ACTA permission to operate within his diocese.]

‘I would also be grateful for evidence of the claim that Quest has made a ‘formal rejection of Church teaching but I have not seen its statutes or constitutions.’

[Protect the Pope comment: Bishop Conry is surprisingly uninformed about Cardinal Hume's banning of Quest from calling itself a 'Catholic organisation' because it promotes homosexual sexual acts. In a letter to Charles Keal, Quest's chairman at the time, Cardinal Hume wrote explaining that his decision to remove it from the list of approved Catholic organisations was that if an organization was listed with ecclesiastical approval, "the assumption must be that it accepts the church's teaching set out in a manner that is in no way ambiguous." The cardinal further explained Quest's rejection of living 'chaste lives in accordance with the church's teaching' raised concern about the direction Quest was taking. "It is one thing for the church officially to recognize a support group for Catholic homosexual men and women, struggling, as we all do, to live up to the demands of our shared Christian vocation," but was clear that an explicit part of Quest's agenda is "to encourage and recognize loving same-sex partnerships," which the church cannot accept.'

Quest's constitution clearly sets out their promotion of an active homosexual life-style:

'The purpose of Quest is to proclaim the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ so as to sustain and increase Christian belief among homosexual men and women by:

1. associating lay men and women who are seeking ways of reconciling the full practice of their Catholic faith with the full expression of their homosexual natures in loving Christian relationships, and providing opportunities for them to meet together for worship, discussion and study.

Quest's website unambiguously expresses their dissent from the Church's teaching on the sinfulness of homosexual sex:

[H]omosexual sex is not an incomplete or less perfect expression of human sexuality … I also want to affirm that I regard heterosexual and homosexual sex as having the same potential and value … I disagree fundamentally with Church teaching on this issue.

‘[T]he teaching of the Vatican Congregations….is incompatible with the Gospel”

“Quest, an association for lesbian and gay Catholics, welcomes in general the government’s proposals to provide for legal recognition of same-sex partnerships.”

Hopefully once Bishop Conry receives the answers to his questions he will reconsider his support of two groups that clearly promote dissent from the Church’s doctrine and discipline. He really should have looked into the bona fides of these groups before so readily expressing support for them in his diocese.



23 comments to Bishop Kieran Conry doubts that A Call to Action and Quest dissent from the doctrines of the Church

  • Rifleman819

    Does the Mitred fellow need a hint when he gets dressed-with the inside of his clerical collar:MEMO TO SELF-I AM KIERAN CONRY-BISHOP OF ARUNDEL AND BRIGHTON.

    I simply do not believe this “other-worldliness” angle …it still (just) might be true of a few elderly High Court Judges…….but if you have held a diocese in the Church for a decade…is he seriously asserting he knows little about the ebbs and flows in his own diocese?

    It is like a Brigadier forgetting which Brigade he is commanding…..and what soldiers look like. Or Charlie Gilmour the Cambridge history undergraduate whose counsel claimed at his trial that he did not realise what the Cenotaph was.
    I simply refuse to “buy” this-if part-time ,laity are more aware of what goes on in the diocese of Arundel and Brighton than its bishop…that is saying something , isn’t it???

  • I think its time His Lordship started reading blogs!

  • Lynda

    Sorry, but this assertion by the Bishop is just plainly untrue – and most likely untruthful. It is not credible that a Bishop in all the circumstances would not know that the organisations involved promote grave immorality and refuse to accept the Deposit of Faith as handed down and preserved by the Church’s teaching authority. It is precisely this lack of truthfulness by those in authority that has wreaked such devastation on our Church and causes loss of Faith on the part of many.

  • Sonja

    Oh dear those of us who live in A & B do seem to have a very ill-informed Bishop. His support for ACTA and QUEST and his very obvious dislike and discouragement of the Latin Mass across his Diocese make him a most disagreeable Bishop to some of us indeed. Can Bishops be sacked for incompetence? (eg. not recognizing and not promting the Magisterium?). I doubt if it will occur to him to amend his ways or to resign — so I think we may be stuck for a few years. Almost makes me want to move to Portsmouth or Westminster!

  • Paul Smyth

    Conry is a disgrace, he should go.

  • Denis

    Interesting that The Catholic Herald has published a revised version of Bishop Conry’s “apology” regarding Fr Blakes recent remarks, only this time not allowing readers comments to be posted. The Herald is I believe directly answerable to the Bishops Conference and has presumably had to publish what amounts to a retraction.
    Bishop Conry says he doesn’t read blogs: I am pretty sure someone reads them for him and has passed on some of the very real concerns that Catholics feel about some of his statements.

  • Paul Smyth

    Arundel and Brighton is blessed with many Catholic priest who believe all the Church teaches. When I said to one ‘I avoid attending anything the bishop is at as an occasion of sin’, he said many of our priests would agree with me.

    How can a bishop rule his diocese effectively if his priests and many lay people do not believe he shares the Church’s faith with them? Every right thinking Catholic bishop. priest and laymen should be writing to Rome to complain about him and demand his removal.

    From Kieran Conry – good Lord deliver us!

  • BJC

    Sorry +Kieran but you are a wily one and this is not the response of one the successors to the Apostles. Our Lord taught us “in all your speech be ye, ye, nay may”(Matt 5:37) but you by contrast are careful with your words and in part at least mislead. Any Bishop worth their salt would not let this group anywhere near their diocese and the circumstantial evidence that they seek to subvert Catholic teaching is over-whelming. The only thing that can be stopping you seeing this in my view is willful blindness. Please step down so a more competent, passionate and knowledgeable defender of the faith can take your place. This sentence in particular is baloney.

    “With regards to Mr Weldon’s blog, I can only tell you that I do not read blogs, but again how can I ban an organisation holding meetings in this diocese?”

  • ConofChi

    Part of the The Second Message, 18th June 1965, Garabandal, Spain

    “Many cardinals, many bishops and many priests are on the road to perdition and are taking many souls with them. Less and less importance is being given to the Eucharist. You should turn the wrath of God away from yourselves by your efforts.

    If you ask for His forgiveness with sincere hearts, He will pardon you. I, your mother, through the intercession of Saint Michael the Archangel, ask you to amend your lives. You are now receiving the last warnings.”

  • Lynda

    Weasly, like so many. An impediment to the Faith.

  • Augustine

    It is simply not credible that Bishop Conry should plead ignorance.

    He is the ultimate Church insider and bureaucrat. See his CV below (from his diocesan website):

    KIERAN THOMAS CONRY was born on 1 February 1951 in Coventry, England. He was educated at All Souls RC Primary School, Coventry, and Cotton College (Junior Seminary) in North Staffordshire, before moving to the Venerable English College in Rome to study for the priesthood. He attended the Gregorian University, gaining the qualifications PhB and STB. He was ordained on 19 July 1975 at All Souls Church in Coventry by Archbishop George Patrick Dwyer of Birmingham.

    In 1976, Fr Conry returned to Cotton College to teach English Literature and Religious Education.

    IN 1980 HE BECAME THE PRIVATE SECRETARY TO THE APOSTOLIC DELEGATE until 1988. He was appointed Monsignor in 1984.

    In 1988, Mgr. Conry returned to Birmingham Archdiocese as parish priest in Leek, North Staffordshire. He was appointed Administrator of St Chad’s Cathedral in 1990.

    FROM 1988 TO 1993, MGR CONRY WAS A MEMBER OF THE NATIONAL CONFERENCE OF PRIESTS AND ITS VICE CHAIRMAN FROM 1992 TO 1993. He was also Chairman of the Birmingham City Centre Churches from 1992 to 1993. From 1993 to 2000, he was involved with training counsellors for Catholic Marriage Care.


    In January 2001, he returned to the Birmingham Archdiocese as parish priest of St Austin’s, Stafford.
    on Saturday 9 June 2001 Bishop Conry was consecrated as fourth bishop of Arundel and Brighton at Arundel Cathedral.

    • Rifleman819

      Augustine ,

      Totally agree-and he is having us for fools if he thinks he can plead ignorance as to what is going on in the diocese where he has been the bishop for 10 years.

  • Ioannes

    “Pope Francis recently reminded us that we cannot discriminate against people simply because of sexual orientation (as Cardinal Ratzinger did when he was Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith).”

    If this is a accurate transcription, then someone needs to learn English. As it stands it means:
    1. We lack the ability to discriminate (‘cannot’ is not the same as ‘may not’).
    2. We are discriminating because of our sexual orientation (the possessive pronoun ‘their’ is absent).
    3. Cardinal Ratzinger so discriminated when he was CDF Prefect (Quest would agree with him there!)

    Someone once said of +Kieran: “Nice bloke, but he’s no business being a bishop”. But he was CMOC’s choice, and apparently the Archbishop Emeritus is still pulling strings. The next episcopal appointments will be interesting.

    • Rifleman819


      The next episcopal appointments will be more than interesting …they will be the touchstone for us in the Catholic church in E and W as to whether we have turned a corner after 40 years of slide and can start to repair , retrieve and return to Catholic faith and praxis.

      I wonder if our + Kieran will last his full time at Arundel and Brighton?

  • Augustine


    “Protect the Pope comment: Bishop Conry is surprisingly uninformed about Cardinal Hume’s banning of Quest from calling itself a ‘Catholic organisation’ because it promotes homosexual sexual acts.”

    This is very surprising indeed. It was in 1998 that Cardinal Hume ordered that Quest should be removed from the list of Catholic organisations in the official Catholic Directory of England and Wales – because it did not endorse Catholic teaching on the sinfulness of homosexual acts.

    At the time. the-then Mgr. Conry was Director of the Catholic Media Office in London, the press office of the Bishop’s Conference of England & Wales, and also Editor of ‘Briefing’, the Bishops’ official journal.

  • Mark Thorne

    The sad conclusion that you have to draw from all of this on the part of Bishop Kieran Conry – with the at-least-implicit support of ACTA, the complete misrepresentation of what Humane Vitae teaches and the role of conscience recently, his dubious video presentation on certain aspects of the Sacrament of Reconciliation, to name but a few – is that he is a Protestant dressed in Catholic clothing. He makes a great play on reaching out to the four million lapsed Catholics in the UK, and the solution? – dilute the Faith, compromise the Truth, disregard the Magisterium, no worries about the Church becoming a sign of self-contradiction in the world, that will surely bring them all flooding back to the pews. A Protestant solution to a Catholic problem! Except that it isn’t a solution – the state of the Anglican Church exemplifies that totally. The Bishop doesn’t seem to realise at it is far more likely to be the confused messaging, lack of true shepherding on the part of the hierarchy, poor Catechism and poor liturgy that have made a lot of people lose heart. Of course, this is compounded by those Catholics who have simply bought into the false ideals of secularism, materialistic reductionism and moral relativism, whom we must sadly fear have chosen to forfeit their places in the Banquet of Heaven in favour of supporting false idols, and aren’t likely to be persuaded to return to active participation in the Church.

    The fact that he has been placed in charge of the New Evangelisation project must provide a worrying indication that the CBCEW probably think broadly along the same lines as he does. Bishop Kieran Conry and the members of the ACTA (also specially mentioning Bishop Paul Hendricks, since he seemed to have “liked” the ACTA Facebook page) are all in special need of our prayers and intentions.

  • Pregis

    The fact that he has been placed in charge of the New Evangelisation project must provide a worrying indication that the CBCEW probably think broadly along the same lines as he does. Bishop Kieran Conry and the members of the ACTA (also specially mentioning Bishop Paul Hendricks, since he seemed to have “liked” the ACTA Facebook page) are all in special need of our prayers and intentions.

    Doesn’t this just demonstrate how corrupt and useless the whole gang is?

    Everyone must contact the Cong for Bishops and complain if they care, rather than just leaving comments on blogs hoping someone important will read them and act. We must act and act now.

    However as Their Lordslips so often quote Pope Francis, I wonder whether it is worth it. Would Conry & co have supported ACTA and Quest so openly under Benedict, I suspect not.

    We really are taking on Relativism big time during this Papacy.

    • Mersey Mercy

      Quite so. “From top to bottom they are mostly rotten”.

      On a similar point but something a little different, I heard yesterday from a relative who had to attend “sacrament lessons” at a local parish. Sacrament lessons for the less educated (like me!) or those living outside of the Liverpool Archdiocese refer to preparation for communion, confirmation and confession. His “retired” Grace Kelly changed the order of receiving the Sacraments (much against the will of most of the priests of the Archdiocese) before being sadly taken with a stroke last year. Anyway the , sorry priest leading the lesson lamented openly to the parents that “some rules were made to be broken” and that he would prefer the whole family to receive Holy Communion at the same time as the child regardless of whether they are Catholics or not. This man has completely and utterly destroyed a reasonably thriving parish within an 8 year period. It is my conviction that as the Parish was renowned for being orthodox, the Archbishop sent him in to do a hatchet job. People who supported the Church have left in droves. He doesn’t care. It really is very very sad. He’s not named in any of the ACTA documents but very friendly with some of those named.

      We really are in a lamentable state here in Liverpool – it really is dreadful. If you think A&B is bad the you should try us out – every priest is his own bishop and pope. Please pray that the next incumbent is nominally a Catholic because we havent had one since Archbishop Beck!

  • Dilly

    “With regards Mr Weldon’s blog, I can only tell you that I do not read blogs”

    No need to go further than the title “Queering the Church”.

  • Pregis

    Just a thought +KC is paid and taking money for being a Catholic Bishop, he plainly ain’t!
    Can’t he be done for deception?
    Or failing that under the trades descriptions act.

    On a more serious note as he is so obviously so dissident, is it not possible that he is incapable of comprehending the mind of the Church so that the sacraments he confects are invalid. For example when he ordains does he actually to do so according to the mind of the Church, is he actually capable of intending that? On his past record, on what he has said at ordinations I have been to, on his view of the priesthood, there is always a shadow of doubt.

    If it is rather according to the mind of ACTOR I would think they are certainly invalid.

  • Bob Hayes

    I wonder if it crossed Bp Conry’s mind that ACTA – an organisation founded in 2012 – chose a name almost identical to the heretical US Call to Action as an expression of support for the US group? Fairly obvious when you think about it….

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