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Bishops resign in England, Ireland; administrator named for Edinburgh

February 27, 2013

Pope Benedict XVI accepted the resignations of two bishops from England and Ireland on February 27, the penultimate day of his pontificate. In both cases the prelates cited health reasons for their resignations.

Archbishop Patrick Kelly stepped down after nearly 17 years as head of the Liverpool archdiocese. Archbishop Kelly, who at 74 is just a few months away from the canonical retirement age, suffered a stroke late last year.

Bishop Gerard Clifford, an auxiliary of the Armagh archdiocese in Ireland, resigned at the age of 71, saying that he was doing so “based on medical advice which I have been receiving since last August.” He did not provide further details. Armagh’s Cardinal Sean Brady thanked Bishop Clifford for “his loyal, faithful and outstanding support at all times.” Bishop Clifford had been an auxiliary in Armagh since 1991.

In a related move, Pope Benedict appointed Archbishop Philip Tartaglia of Glasgow to be apostolic administrator of the Edinburgh archdiocese, which became vacant with the sudden resignation of Cardinal Keith O’Brien earlier this week.


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  • Posted by: lfjardine9175 - Feb. 28, 2013 9:57 AM ET USA

    Describing the departure of Cardinal O'Brien is misleading. The cardinal had already presented last November his resignation in view of his 75th birthday on 17 March 2013, and it was accepted by the Holy Father with the formula "nunc pro tunc" (now for later). The Holy Father was tying up loose ends before his departure. Don't take on the negativity and inaccuracy of the secular media.