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Sunday, February 7, 1999 Published at 09:20 GMT


Former Catholic bishop's secret wedding

Roddy Wright: A love that was too strong

Former Roman Catholic bishop Roddy Wright has disclosed that he has secretly married the woman he ran away with.

Mr Wright was at the centre of media attention when his relationship with Kathleen MacPhee was first discovered in 1996 and he resigned as Bishop of Argyll and the Isles.

The former bishop and mother-of-three Kathleen MacPhee were married in a civil ceremony on the Caribbean island of Antigua last June, he told the Mail on Sunday newspaper.

Private ceremony

In his first interview since the wedding Mr Wright, 58, told the paper: "It was very emotional and we were nervous.

"We had braced ourselves for a bland civil wedding, but the registrar made the ceremony so special.

"He read passages from the Bible and spoke about God's love. It was very moving and Kathleen looked lovely.

"We wanted it to be private away from the media circus so we told people we were going on holiday and organised it all ourselves."

Mr Wright said the only family members present were his 43-year-old wife's daughter and youngest son.

Celibacy 'vital'

After Mr Wright resigned from the Church, it emerged that he had fathered a son by another woman in 1981.

But Mr Wright told the Mail on Sunday he still backed the Catholic Church's views on celibacy.

"I want people to know I fully support the church's teachings on celibacy and obedience. Celibacy is still a vital part of being a priest because the priesthood is total giving," he said.

"I fell in love and it was a love that was too strong. The failure is mine, not the church's.

"I didn't live up to what the church expected of me and I have never denied that."

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