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Saturday, 29 September 2007

Lancaster to get co-adjutor

Fr Paul Harrison has just posted the news of an announcement from Bishop O'Donoghue of Lancaster Diocese:
"Given the enormous emphasis in the Diocese on mission and planning for the future I thought it important that my successor be in place as early as possible. It was for this reason, and after much advice, I wrote to Pope Benedict asking for a co-adjutor bishop. Much to my delight he accepted the request and the search for successor has already begun."
As Fr Paul hints, this is a thoughtful and pastoral decision. Bishop O'Donoghue reaches the canonical age in 2009. Nowadays it can take a considerable time to find a new diocesan Bishop and a long interregnum can be difficult for a diocese. His provision for his diocese is to be welcomed - we had a similar arrangement in Southwark when Archbishop Bowen offered his resignation "nunc pro tunc" - now, but to come into effect as soon as a successor was appointed.
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