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Thursday, March 23, 2017
Bishop of Lancaster's request for co-adjutor bishop accepted by Pope
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¬†The Rt Reverend Patrick O'Donoghue, Bishop of Lancaster, has written the following letter to the clergy, religious and laity of his diocese to let them know that his request for a co-adjutor bishop has been accepted by Pope Benedict XVI. Bishops, like priests and deacons, are asked to tender their resignation at the beginning of their 74th year. This means that my term of office in the Diocese ends in the summer of 2009, unless, of course, the Holy Father wishes to extend it. Given the enormous emphasis on 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 my request and the search for my successor has already begun. There are big questions facing the Church in the North-West as elsewhere ≠ 'how do we communicate the Gospel in a society which seems to push God to the margins?' ≠ 'how do we empower individuals and communities to accept responsibility for the work of mission?' However difficult it might be to link or merge parishes, the task of Mission ≠ spreading the Gospel of Christ Our Lord ≠ is infinitely more important and exciting. This is an important time in the Diocese and I would ask your prayers for the Guidance of the Holy Spirit as we look for an inspirational and spiritual leader. With sincerest good wishes and prayers, As ever in Christ, Bishop of Lancaster
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