Santa Rosa Bishop Resigns

And Appointments in Belarus and England

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SANTA ROSA, California, JULY 1, 2011 ( Bishop Robert Vasa has succeeded Bishop Daniel Walsh in leading the Diocese of Santa Rosa, California.

Benedict XVI accepted Bishop Walsh’s resignation Thursday, though the prelate is only 73. Bishops normally resign at age 75.

Bishop Walsh stepped down in accordance with Canon 401, paragraph 2, which allows a bishop to resign if he is «less able to fulfill his office because of ill health or some other grave cause.»

Bishop Vasa had been the coadjutor of the diocese since January.

Robert Vasa was born in Lincoln, Nebraska, in 1951 and ordained a priest of that diocese in 1976. He was appointed bishop of Baker, Oregon, in 1999.

Also on Thursday, the Pope appointed Archbishop Tadeusz Kondrusiewicz of Minsk-Mohilev, Belarus, as apostolic administrator «ad nutum Sanctae Sedis» of the Diocese of Pinsk, in addition to his duties in Minsk.

«Ad nutum Sanctae Sedis» means «at the disposition of the Holy See.» It is used in circumstances involving a conflict of ecclesiastical jurisdiction.

The Diocese of Pinsk has some 50,000 Catholics served by about 50 priests.

On Thursday as well, the Pope assigned another auxiliary to the Archdiocese of Westminster in London. Father John Sherrington of the clergy of Nottingham joined two other auxiliaries in assisting Archbishop Vincent Nichols.

John Sherrington was born in Leicester, England, in 1958 and ordained a priest in 1989.

The Archdiocese of Westminster has some 476,000 Catholics served by more than 600 priests and almost 1,500 religious.

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