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Coadjutor bishop appointed for troubled French diocese

November 21, 2023

» Continue to this story on Diocese of Frejus-Toulon (French)

CWN Editor's Note: Pope Francis has named a coadjutor bishop to the Diocese of Frejus-Toulon, Francce, where the Pope had forbidden priestly ordinations since June 2022.

Bishop Francois Touvet will serve as coadjutor to Bishop Dominique Rey, whose leadership had come under scrutiny because of his willingness to welcome seminarians who had been rejected by other dioceses. As coadjutor, Bishop Touvet will have special authority to oversee the formation of clergy in the Toulon diocese.

Bishop Touvet will also succeed Bishop Rey as head of the Toulon diocese when the latter reaches retirement age in four years.

The coadjutor’s appointment comes after an apostolic visitation of the diocese earlier this year. Bishop Rey had been criticized for spreading a wide net in his effort to find new priests, and particularly for his willingness to embrace traditionalist candidates. However his new coadjutor, Bishop Touvet, also has a reputation for energetic recruitment of seminarians and sympathy for traditional Catholics.

Bishop Rey said that he would “welcome in confidence” his new coadjutor. “I thank God for seeing our diocese emerge from the torments we had entered since June 2022,” he said.

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  • Posted by: Randal Mandock - Nov. 22, 2023 9:20 AM ET USA

    It seems that Bishop Rey has been reaching out to the "marginalized", "excluded", and "rejected" seminarians who want nothing more than sound Catholic preparation for the priesthood. Am I missing something, or is there a contradiction in Francis' axing of a good and faithful bishop?