Loading
Northern Ireland bishop's health problem prompts resignation

.- Pope Benedict XVI has accepted the resignation of Bishop Seamus Hegarty from the Diocese of Derry in Northern Ireland for health reasons, effective Nov. 23.

“The Holy Father has very kindly considered my letter, along with the medical reports provided by experts, and today graciously accepted my resignation,” the retiring bishop said in a statement released by the Derry diocese.

Bishop Hegarty, 71, had offered his resignation to the Pope due to a health condition he said was “assessed to render me unable to fulfill the obligations of my office as Diocesan Bishop.” Bishops must offer their resignation at age 75, but are encouraged to take the step earlier under certain conditions.

The bishop revealed on Nov. 7 that he was being treated for an “irreversible and progressive” illness.

“I would ask for prayers that the Holy Spirit may guide the selection of the new Bishop of Derry,” Bishop Hegarty said in his announcement.

“On a personal level, I would entrust my health to the prayers of the people of the diocese.”

Ordained a priest in 1966, Bishop Hegarty became the Bishop of Raphoe in the spring of 1982. He took up his position as the Bishop of Derry in November 1994.

A report on the handling of sex abuse by clergy in the Diocese of Raphoe, spanning several decades that include Bishop Hegarty's term of leadership, has been completed and is awaiting publication. He has declared his support for the inquiry, and urged prosecution of those who committed abuse.

Northern Irish Member of Parliament Mark Durkan, former leader of the country's Social Democratic and Labour Party, praised the retired bishop in comments to BBC News on Nov. 7.

Durkan said Bishop Hegarty had a “particular passion” for education, and had “always impressed” him as “someone who is straight-talking and hard-working with a keen and active interest in the whole range of public affairs.”

With his resignation, Derry becomes the fourth Irish diocese without a bishop. The bishops of Cloyne, Kildare and Leighlin, and Limerick have resigned during that time and have not yet been replaced.

Ireland also currently has no apostolic nuncio as of September 2011. The Vatican recalled and reassigned its representative after Ireland's prime minister accused the Holy See of trying to cover up abuse cases. The Vatican’s spokesman Fr. Federico Lombardi, S.J., said those claims are untrue and the accusations show the Irish government does not understand how canon law works.

A group of eight priests will elect a member of the clergy as the Diocesan Administrator of Derry, while the diocese waits for the appointment of a new bishop.


Ads by AdsLiveMedia(What's this?)

* The number of messages that can be online is limited. CNA reserves the right to edit messages for content and tone. Comments and opinions expressed by users do not necessarily reflect the opinions or beliefs of CNA. CNA will not publish comments with abusive language, insults or links to other pages

RESOURCES »

Ads by Google (What's this?)

Featured Videos

Dedicating art to San Juan de la Cruz
Dedicating art to San Juan de la Cruz
A state without territory elects new government
The renewal of the Legionaries of Christ
Presentation of the book "The Pastor"
Synod on the Family October 2014
Preferential option for the poor
God is alive, even in sport
'A forbidden God' named Best Film at the International Catholic Film Festival
Vatican backs a 'Pause for Peace' during World Cup final
The effects of religious violence in Sarajevo 
The origin of Corpus Christi 
Corpus Christi at the Vatican 
Homage to an Indian Cardinal
Train of the Child's Light
New book explaining gestures of the Mass
Encounter between Pope Francis and the Charismatic Renewal in the Spirit Movement.
Religious tensions subside amid Balkan floods
John Paul II Center for Studies on Marriage and Family
Saint John Paul II on cartoon
Syrian Christian refugees
Jul
25

Liturgical Calendar

July 25, 2014

Saint James, Apostle

All readings:
Today »
This year »

Catholic Daily

Gospel of the Day

Mt 20:20-28

Gospel
Date
07/25/14
07/24/14
07/23/14

Daily Readings


First Reading:: 2 Cor 4: 7-15
Gospel:: Mt 20: 20-28

Saint of the Day

St. James »

Saint
Date
07/25/14
07/23/14

Homily of the Day

Mt 20:20-28

Homily
Date
07/25/14
07/24/14
07/23/14

Ads by AdsLiveMedia.com

Ads by AdsLiveMedia.com
     HTML
Text only
Headlines
  

Follow us: