September 26, 2022
Bishop Marcus Stock

Profound Sorrow

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Bishop of Leeds sorrowful for historic sex crime in Leeds Diocese.

The Bishop of Leeds has expressed sorrow to parishes and communities in the Leeds Diocese regarding the conviction of a catholic priest Father Patrick Smythe 79, of Otley by a Leeds Crown Court for sexually abusing six boys in the late 70s and the early 80s.

Father Smythe will be placed on the Sex Offenders Register and will serve 7 and a half years in prison after the jury at the crown court reached an unanimous decision to convict him for his crimes.

In the Diocesan letter dated April 8th 2022, the Bishop expressed shock, sorrow and shame on hearing of the conviction and especially for those parishes he worked in.

Bishop Marcus admitted that the community will feel anger, sadness and conflicting emotions about one of the clergy guilty of a crime, but we should focus our thoughts and prayers to the survivors and their families whose courage in coming forward enabled these “grave crimes” to be brought to justice.

He expressed confidence that those affected in any way will find comfort at Easter where fear and despair will be banished by the light of Jesus’s Resurrection, that the light of Christ, the bright Sun of Justice will bring renewal to the life of all victims and survivors of abuse.

The bishop of Leeds then assured the community that adequate safe guarding measures were in place and he concluded by saying he is praying for anybody affected in anyway by the situation and called for renewed faith in Jesus who heals the broken heart and the loving intercession of Our Lady.

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