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Archbishop George minds the gap

Appointed Apostolic Administrator in Menevia

Pope Francis has accepted the resignation of Bishop Tom Burns on the grounds of age (he was 75 on 3rd June) and has appointed Archbishop George Stack to be Apostolic Administrator of the Diocese of Menevia. Archbishop George assumed his additional responsibilities with effect from Thursday 11 July. On this date, after 17 years as a Bishop (first of the Armed Forces and then of Menevia), Bishop Tom relinquished all responsibility for the Diocese of Menevia, and moved into retirement as Bishop Emeritus of Menevia.

An Apostolic Administrator is appointed by the Holy See for an interim period of time for the pastoral care of a particular Diocese where the existing Bishop has resigned or retired. The role confers upon the appointed bishop (e.g. another Bishop or the Metropolitan Archbishop) the authority to govern the Diocese in the name of the Pope until the See is filled.

With Archbishop George now taking on the extra responsibilities of Apostolic Administrator of Menevia until such time as a new Bishop is appointed, he said: “I will feel humbled by [the Pope’s] request and grateful for his confidence in me. It will be an honour for me to serve the clergy and people of the Diocese of Menevia as Apostolic Administrator. I will also strongly encourage the positive pastoral initiatives and administrative developments already underway in the Diocese… Until now I have been “your next-door neighbour”, but shortly I look forward to getting to know the Diocese of Menevia better, and to learn and appreciate its unique history and characteristics.”

In receiving the news Bishop Tom said: “My prayers are with him and everyone as they move forward together, whilst I take my happy memories into retirement with gratitude to all. Please keep me in your prayers.”

A Mass of Thanksgiving for the ministry of Bishop Tom will be offered at St Joseph’s Cathedral, Swansea on Tuesday 23 July 2019 at 7pm.

Fr Matthew, edited from press release