Pope accepts bishop’s resignation on age grounds

POPE Benedict XVI has accepted the resignation of the Bishop of Clogher, Dr Joseph Duffy, who, as Church law dictates, is stepping down having reached the age of 75.

A bishop for 31 years, the Co Donegal man tendered his resignation to the Pope on his birthday last year. It is expected that the current Chancellor of Clogher, the Reverend Monsignor Liam S McDaid will become the new Bishop of Clogher.

Bishop Francis Lagan, an auxiliary bishop in the Diocese of Derry, has also tendered his resignation on age grounds under Canon 401.

Bishop Duffy is the fourth Irish bishop to have his resignation accepted by the Pope in the past 12 months. His resignation is not related to the Church’s mishandling of clerical sex abuse.

However, earlier this year, Bishop Duffy admitted involvement in a Church investigation into clerical abuse claims where victims were made to sign oaths of secrecy.

He told a Sunday newspaper it was to his “regret” he did not pass on the abuse claims to police when he first became aware of the allegations in 1989.

Bishop of Limerick Donal Murray’s resignation was accepted at the end of last year.

Bishop of Cloyne John Magee resigned in March and last month, Bishop of Kildare and Leighlin James Moriarty also formally stepped down.

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