Derry, Northern Ireland, Nov 23, 2011 / 13:13 pm
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.