Pope Francis has accepted the resignation of Bishop of Menevia Tom Burns, it was announced today. Archbishop George Stack has been appointed apostolic administrator of the diocese in West Wales.
Bishop Burns, who was 75 years old last month and has served 17 years as a bishop, offered his resignation in accordance with canon law. Archbishop Stack will assumed his new duties from today, 11 July, the Feast of St Benedict, Patron of Europe.
Before moving to the diocese, Bishop Burns was Bishop of the Armed Forces.
He said: "I feel unworthy to have been chosen by the Lord to be a priest and then a bishop, to navigate waters that have become increasingly challenging, yet day by day were filled with so many graces. I thank the Lord, as well as clergy and people, for so many blessings, and ask forgiveness for my failings.
"I now welcome warmly the Holy Father’s appointment of Archbishop Stack as Apostolic Administrator of Menevia. His discerning approach will serve the diocese well. I have already come to value his guidance and friendship on so many issues and occasions. My prayers are with him and everyone as they move forward together, whilst I take my happy memories into retirement, with gratitude to all. Please keep me in your prayers."
Archbishop Stack said: "In accepting the new responsibilities given to me by the Holy Father, I feel humbled by his request and grateful for his confidence in me. It will be an honour for me to serve the clergy and people of the Diocese of Menevia as Apostolic Administrator. I will also strongly encourage the positive pastoral initiatives and administrative developments already underway in the Diocese, to ensure that the parishes of Menevia remain vibrant, missionary, and in a state of readiness for the future.
"Until now I have been 'your next-door neighbour', but shortly I look forward to getting to know the Diocese of Menevia better, and to learn and appreciate its unique history and characteristics. With assurances of my prayers for you, please pray for me."
A Mass of Thanksgiving will take place in St Joseph’s Cathedral, Swansea, on Tuesday 23 July 2019 at 7pm, when Bishop Burns will formally lay down the symbols of his episcopal office, and Archbishop George will officially assume the responsibility entrusted to him by Pope Francis. Bishop Tom will be Principal Celebrant and Archbishop George will preach.