Bishop Gerard Clifford retires due to ill health
Auxiliary Bishop of Armagh Gerard Clifford has retired due to ill health.
The 71-year-old said yesterday he was grateful to Pope Benedict for granting his request for retirement “especially at this momentous time in his own life and ministry”.
Bishop Clifford said his decision to retire was based on medical advice he had been receiving since last August and was made “with great sadness”.
“I have received great warmth and affection throughout my ministry from the people of the diocese.
“I thank them for their support in my 21 years as auxiliary bishop,” he said. Born in Lordship, Co Louth in 1941, he was ordained a priest in 1968 and was appointed Auxiliary Bishop of Armagh in 1991.
He served as executive secretary of the Irish Catholic Bishops’ Conference from 1984 to 1991 and was involved in education including as a diocesan adviser for 10 years.
Bishop Clifford said yesterday that the “pastoral work and responsibilities of being bishop and priest in 21st century Ireland” were “both challenging and complex”, but it was also “a deeply rewarding vocation”.