Pope accepts resignation of bishops


Pope Benedict XVI has accepted the age-related resignations of Bishop Joseph Duffy of Clogher and Auxiliary Bishop Francis Lagan of of Derry.

In a short communique issued this morning, the Holy See said the pope was accepting Bishop Duffy's resignation in accordance with canon 401,1 of the Code of Canon Law.

The statement also revealed that Chancellor of the Diocese Rt Rev Liam Seán MacDaid has been appointed as Bishop Duffy's replacement.

The resignation of Bisop Lagan was accepted in accord with canon 411 and 401,1 of the Code of Canon Law.

The statement said under canon 401,1, a diocesan bishop is requested to offer his resignation from office to the pope upon "completing his seventy-fifth year of age".

The provisions concerning resignation from office also apply also to an auxiliary bishop, under canon 411, the statement said.

Commenting on the resignations, Cardinal Seán Brady paid tribute to both men's service to their dioceses and the Bishops' Conference.

"During their time as bishops they have witnessed the terrible violence and tragedies which were part of the troubles. Thankfully in recent years they have witnessed the peace which has come to this part of Ireland. I want to pay tribute to them for their work in preaching about and striving for peace and harmony here in Northern Ireland. I offer them my prayers and blessings and I wish them both many years of good health and happiness in their retirement."