.- Today Pope Benedict XVI accepted the early resignation of Archbishop Daniel M. Buechlein of Indianapolis due to health issues.
“It has been a joy for me to serve as Archbishop of the Archdiocese of Indianapolis for the past 20 years. I want to thank all of the clergy, religious, archdiocesan staff and lay people for the support you have given me over the years,” Archbishop Buechlein said in a Sept. 21 statement from the archdiocese.
“You truly have been a blessing to me. With your help and the help of God we have been able to accomplish much.”
The archbishop requested retirement earlier this year. At age 73, he is two years away from the normal retirement age for bishops. However, he has suffered from numerous health problems in recent years, including a mild stroke, a battle with Hodgkin’s lymphoma, a shoulder replacement surgery and the removal of a benign stomach tumor.
Bishop Christopher J. Coyne, auxiliary bishop for the Archdiocese of Indianapolis, has been named by Pope Benedict as Apostolic Administrator until a new archbishop is appointed.
Bishop Coyne was ordained to assist Archbishop Buechlein as his auxiliary bishop in March 2011.
Archbishop Buechlein was born on April 20, 1938 in Jasper, Ind. In 1963, he took a solemn vows as a Benedictine monk, and the next year, he was ordained a priest.
In 1987, he was appointed bishop of Memphis, Tenn., and in 1992 he was appointed Archbishop of Indianapolis by Pope John Paul II.
During his time in Indianapolis, he has served in various positions, including as a consultor to the Vatican’s Congregation for the Clergy and co-moderator of the Disciples of Christ-Roman Catholic International Dialogue.
The archbishop’s retirement was announced on September 21 and is effective immediately.
According to the archdiocese, Archbishop Buechlein plans to spend his retirement in southern Indiana at St. Meinrad Archabbey. He intends to return to the community where he made his solemn profession as a Benedictine monk almost 50 years ago.