Pope Francis has granted Bishop of Clogher Liam MacDaid’s request for early retirement due to ill health. Bishop MacDaid’s retirement was announced this morning, and will take effect immediately.
Paying tribute to Bishop MacDaid, Archbishop Eamon Martin stated: “I wish to express my deep gratitude to Bishop Liam MacDaid whose resignation as Bishop of Clogher was accepted by Pope Francis today on grounds of ill health.
“Bishop MacDaid has been a valued member of the Episcopal Conference since his ordination as Bishop of Clogher in 2010.
“His gentle pastoral wisdom, his warm concern for others and his genuine dedication to furthering the mission of the Church was evident in his fidelity to the work of the Conference.
“In particular, I salute Bishop Liam’s generous contribution to ACCORD Catholic Marriage Care, his work with the Council for Marriage and the Family of the Episcopal Conference, and his commitment to the religious publisher Veritas.
“Conscious of the horrific extent of injury and loss of human life on our roads, Bishop Liam has been a compassionate and tireless advocate for greater road safety awareness across the island, and in particular amongst young people.
“One of the highlights of Bishop Liam’s episcopal ministry was his hosting in June 2012 of the Papal Legate, Cardinal Marc Ouellet, on the pilgrimage island of Lough Derg as part of the 50th International Eucharistic Congress in Ireland. It was a profoundly moving experience for all involved.
“I look forward to our continued friendship in the years ahead and I pray God’s blessing on Bishop Liam, assuring him of our prayerful good wishes for his health at this time and in the future.”
In a statement, the Diocese of Clogher revealed that Bishop Liam MacDaid had written to Pope Francis on medical advice “some months ago” to request that the Holy Father accept his early retirement.
“It is announced this morning (at noon, Rome time) that Pope Francis has accepted Bishop MacDaid’s request and that, accordingly, his retirement takes effect immediately,” it stated.
“Bishop Liam has always been very keen to communicate with the people of the diocese, whether through visits to parishes or through pastoral letters.
“He is keen to ensure that the People of God throughout Clogher diocese should hear from him the background to his retirement, including some of the medical advice he has received, together with his reflections on diocesan life and that of the wider Church at this time.
“With this in mind, he has written a pastoral letter to the priests and people of the diocese which will be read at all Masses this weekend.
“Bishop Liam was appointed Bishop of Clogher by Pope Benedict XVI on 6 May 2010, in succession to Bishop Joseph Duffy who is now bishop-emeritus. Bishop Liam was subsequently ordained on 25 July 2010 in Saint Macartan’s Cathedral in Monaghan.
“As for the future, the governance of the diocese is now assumed by the College of Consultors (in this case the Diocesan Chapter) which will meet in the coming days to elect a Diocesan Administrator.
“The Diocesan Administrator will then lead the diocese, with limited powers, until a new bishop is appointed by the Holy Father Pope Francis.”