Vancouver, Canada, Jan 13, 2004 / 22:00 pm
Pope John Paul II announced Jan. 10 that Bishop Raymond Roussin of the Diocese of Victoria will succeed Archbishop Adam Exner as the new archbishop of Vancouver.
Archbishop Exner, who served Vancouver for the last 13 years, is retiring at the age of 75, as required by canon law.
"He's very well loved in the archdiocese," Paul Schratz, spokesman for the archdiocese, told the Vancouver Sun. "He's very well respected, not just in the archdiocese, but I would say across Canada."
Archbishop Exner became known across Canada for his orthodoxy, for promoting the teachings of the Catholic Church on social issues, for protecting Catholic health care in British Columbia, for reaching out to the Aboriginal community and for encouraging ecumenical and interfaith dialogue. He was active in promoting reconciliation between the Church and native Indians in the residential-school crisis.
He also set off some controversies regarding homosexuality and the right of Catholic hospitals to discipline staff, who don't adhere to Church teaching, and their right to ban abortions, birth control counselling and sterilizations.
Despite these controversies, many people admire the archbishop for his courage to take a stand, based on faith and principle.