On acceptance of the resignation of the Right Reverend Tom Burns, Bishop of Menevia, Pope Francis has appointed Archbishop George Stack to be Apostolic Administrator of the Diocese of Menevia, West Wales.
Bishop Tom Burns offered his resignation in accordance with Canon 401 §1, on the grounds of age – having turned 75 on 3 June 2019. He welcomed the appointment of Archbishop Stack, who will assume his additional responsibilities with effect from 11 July 2019, the Feast of St Benedict, Patron of Europe.
On this date, after 17 years as a Bishop – firstly of the Armed Forces and then of Menevia – Bishop Burns will relinquish all responsibility for the diocese and will move into retirement as Bishop Emeritus of Menevia.
Bishop Burns 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.
During this Mass Bishop Tom 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.
An Apostolic Administrator, as distinct from a Diocesan Administrator, who is elected by the Diocese’s College of Consultors (Code of Canon Law: Canon 502), is appointed by the Holy See for an interim period of time for the pastoral care of a particular Diocese where the existing Bishop has resigned or retired. The role confers upon the appointed prelate (e.g. another Bishop or the Metropolitan Archbishop) the authority to govern the Diocese in the name of the Supreme Pontiff until the See is filled. (Code of Canon Law: Canons 134, 371, 427).