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Iowa bishop steps down due to health problems

.- Pope Benedict XVI has granted a request by Bishop Joseph L. Charron, C.PP.S., of Des Moines, Iowa to retire due to health reasons.  The Holy Father, however, did not name a successor for the 67-year old Bishop.

According to a press release from the midwestern diocese, the diocesan College of Consultors, will gather within eight days to name an administrator, a priest, to maintain the administration of the diocese until the Holy Father names a new bishop for the Diocese of Des Moines.

Bishop Charron, wrote a letter to the Holy Father on August 15th, 2006, saying that he had recently been diagnosed with polymyalgia rheumatica, or PMR, a chronic condition. According to Charron, his doctor had recommended he consider retirement, and after a great deal of prayerful discernment for his future and for how the people of the diocese could best be served, he asked to retire early.

The bishop noted at a press conference today that is decision did not come, “lightly or quickly.”

“I have not been feeling well for some time,” Charron told the diocese.  “I have prayerfully considered how this diagnosis would affect my ability to serve the people of southwest Iowa. I have looked to the Holy Spirit for guidance, have sought wise counsel, and truly have trusted in your many prayers for me.”

Bishop Charron had served as bishop of Des Moines for 13 years, after having served as an Auxiliary Bishop for the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis.

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