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Friday, March 24, 2017
Pope names new Archbishop of Southwark
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¬†The Pope has named Bishop Kevin McDonald as the next Archbishop of Southwark while accepting the resignation of Archbishop Michael Bowen who is retiring after long and distinguished service . A statement from the Apostolic Nunciature today said: "The Holy Father, Pope John Paul II, has accepted the resignation presented by the Most Reverend Michael Bowen, Archbishop of Southwark. "His Holiness has appointed Archbishop of Southwark, Rt Rev Kevin McDonald, until now Bishop of the Diocese of Northampton." A joint statement by the Archdiocese of Southwark and Diocese of Northampton said: "The Most Reverend Michael Bowen, Archbishop of Southwark, has announced his retirement and the Holy Father, Pope John Paul II, has accepted his resignation on 6 November 2003. Archbishop Bowen was born in 1930. He was consecrated Coadjutor Bishop of Arundel and Brighton in 1970 and took over as bishop of that diocese in 1971 where he remained until his move to Southwark in 1977. "Pope John Paul II has appointed the Right Reverend Kevin McDonald, until now Bishop of Northampton, to replace Archbishop Bowen as the new Archbishop of Southwark." Commenting today on the retirement of Archbishop Bowen as Archbishop of Southwark, Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O'Connor said: "Archbishop Michael Bowen enters a well earned retirement after many years of faithful and joyous service of the church. He has led by example and contributed enormously to the work of the Catholic Church, both nationally and in this southern corner of the country. For more than 30 years he has served as a Bishop, first in Arundel and Brighton, my own former Diocese and for the past 26 years as Archbishop of Southwark. "In this time Archbishop Michael has provided inspiration for many. He has been a true teacher and guide to his flock, a man who has led with certainty and humility, and served well the people and priests of his Archdiocese." Cardinal Murphy-O'Connor welcomed the news from the Vatican that Bishop Kevin McDonald, Bishop of Northampton, is to be the new Archbishop of Southwark. He said: "I am delighted to hear from the Vatican that Bishop McDonald, Bishop of Northampton, is to succeed Archbishop Bowen as the new Archbishop of Southwark. "As one of the newest and youngest Bishops in the hierarchy, Bishop Kevin will bring his own energy and particular gifts to this challenging and rewarding position. I wish him well and look forward to working with him in the years ahead." Bishop McDonald was born in Stoke-on-Trent on 18 August 1947. He went to school in Stoke-on-Trent, attending St Joseph's, the Christian Brothers' Grammar School from 1958 ≠ 1965. He read Latin at Birmingham University from 1965 ≠ 1968. In 1968, he was accepted as a student for the Archdiocese of Birmingham and went to the Venerable English College in Rome from 1968 ≠ 1975. He was ordained priest in 1974 and completed his licentiate in Moral Theology in 1975. His first appointment was to All Saints, Stourbridge, in Worcestershire. From 1976 until 1985 he taught Moral Theology at St Mary's College, Oscott, in Birmingham. From 1985 until 1993, he worked as an official at the Pontifical Council for Christian Unity in Rome, where he had special responsibility for Anglican and Catholic relations. During that time he also completed a doctorate. In 1993 he returned to England and was parish priest of English Martyrs, Sparkhill from 1993 ≠ 1998. Sparkhill is an area of Birmingham with a large Muslim population and it was there that Monsignor McDonald developed his interest in inter-religious dialogue. From 1998 ≠ 2001 Monsignor McDonald was Rector of St Mary's College, Oscott, and he was ordained Bishop of Northampton on 2 May 2001. He is chairman of the Bishops' Conference Committee for Other Faiths and of the Committee for Catholic-Jewish relations. The Archbishop-elect is a keen football supporter, loves music, enjoys walking and holidays in France and Italy. He has an elder brother and sister and two younger brothers. He has nine nephews and nieces and three great-nephews. Bishop McDonald was named as Archbishop of Southwark today. Southwark is one of the largest dioceses in the country, comprising Greater London south of the Thames, as well as the County of Kent. He will take possession of the Archdiocese on Monday, 8 December, the Feast of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Principal Patron of the diocese. Archbishop Bowen said: "I am delighted that the Holy Father has appointed Bishop McDonald to succeed me as Archbishop of Southwark. He is an excellent choice and my anxieties for the future of the diocese are now happily resolved. It seemed right to me that after nearly 27 years as Archbishop I should hand on my responsibilities to a younger man. Bishop McDonald will bring a fresh start, a new vision and energy to the mission of my diocese. He has the qualities required for the post together with a wide experience as priest and bishop in the Church. I feel I am leaving my diocese in the care of a good shepherd and leader and I give thanks to God for his appointment." Bishop McDonald said: "The appointment to Southwark was a tremendous surprise to me, especially since I have only been in Northampton for two and a half years. I would like to express my thanks and appreciation to everyone in the Diocese of Northampton for all the friendship and support I have received there. The Archdiocese of Southwark, of course, is completely new to me but I look forward to the challenge that it presents to me. I am aware, for example, of the very multi-cultural nature of many of the south London parishes. "In Archbishop Bowen, the diocese has had a humble, kind and gracious pastor. I hope to build on his work and to move forward to the future with the help of the assistant bishops, priests, deacons, religious and all the people. I ask for your prayers." Source: CCS
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