.- In an very unusual turn of events, Most Reverend Kevin William Vann, scheduled to be installed as Coadjutor Bishop of Fort Worth, Texas today, will now be installed as ordinary of that diocese following the surprise death of Bishop William Delaney, who Bishop-elect Vann was assigned to assist. Archbishop Jose Gomez, metropolitan Archbishop of San Antonio will install Bishop-elect Vann at 6pm tonight –Central time- as scheduled with some adaptations at the Daniel-Meyer Coliseum on the campus of Texas Christian University in southwest Fort Worth.
Although a Coadjutor bishop holds the right of succession upon the death of the ordinary of their diocese, today’s unusual transition puts Vann’s succession into effect before his installation as bishop.
Upon learning of Bishop Delaney’s death, which follows a lengthy struggle with pancreatic cancer, Archbishop Gomez said that, “Bishop Delaney was a dedicated and faithful servant to the Diocese of Fort Worth and the Church of Texas for many years.“
“I am saddened”, he said, “at his passing at this important moment in the life of Church of Texas. My sadness is tempered by the faith that we share as believers in the risen Christ, that God has awarded him the gift of perfect happiness with Him forever.”
Bishop-elect Vann, who comes from Springfield, Ill, will become the third Bishop of Fort Worth, succeeding 70-year old Delaney.
Bishop Delaney’s funeral has been postponed until Monday at 2pm at St. Patrick’s Cathedral. Bishop Vann will preside.