.- The Holy Father appointed Msgr. John McIntyre as auxiliary bishop of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia on Tuesday. At the same time, the Pope accepted the resignation of Bishop Robert Maginnis, who has retired at the age of 75.
Cardinal Justin Rigali who led a press conference at the archdiocesan headquarters this morning, also commented on his rumored retirement, saying that although he has submitted his resignation, he has been asked by the Holy Father to stay in the Philadelphia Archdiocese for the present.
Bishop-elect McIntyre was born in in Philadelphia in August of 1963.
After attending local parochial schools, he went to Father Judge High School in Philadelphia and eventually studied at St. Alphonsus College Seminary. He earned his Master of Divinity degree from St. Charles Borromeo Seminary in Overbrook, Pennsylvania and was ordained a priest in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia in 1992. In addition to serving in local parishes, the bishop-elect has been secretary to Cardinal Rigali since 1999.
An enthusiastic Bishop-elect McIntyre greeted the media during the press conference this morning, saying, “with gratitude to God and reliance on his mercy, I accept and I rejoice in my appointment as an auxiliary bishop of Philadelphia.”
“I renew my commitment in our Lord Jesus Christ and give thanks to God the Father before all of you for the gift of eternal life which he has given all of us through his son, Jesus.”
“What a blessing to share in the victory of Jesus over sin and death through faith and through the sacraments of the church,” he added, “and what a blessing to be through this gift a member of his holy Church, in which I have always found grace, strength and guidance.”
“How proud I am to be a Catholic,” the bishop-elect underscored.
“I am grateful to our Holy Father, Pope Benedict XVI, for calling me to be a bishop in the Church. I renew my fidelity and my loyalty to him and promise to serve to the best of my ability in the office which the Church now entrusts to me,” Bishop-elect McIntyre stated.
As he thanked his parents and the priests that he has worked alongside, the bishop-elect became emotional. When he finished his remarks, he was given a standing ovation from the press.
Following a statement from Cardinal Rigali, Bishop Maginnis and bishop-elect McIntyre, the cardinal addressed a question from the press regarding his recent 75th birthday and rumored retirement.
“As you know,” the cardinal said, “every bishop at 75 offers his resignation to the Holy Father, and I have done that.”
However, “the response is for me to stay until they tell me to leave,” he said with a laugh.
Bishop-elect McIntyre will be installed and ordained a bishop on August 6, 2010 at the Cathedral Basilica of Sts. Peter and Paul in Philadelphia.