Pope Francis IDs successor to conservative Providence bishop

by | Nov 24, 2022 | Religion

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) — Pope Francis has named a Catholic priest from New York to succeed Rhode Island Bishop Thomas Tobin when the conservative cleric retires, potentially next year.Tobin held a press conference Wednesday morning at the cathedral in Providence to announce the changes. He said the transition is meant to ensure his replacement is ready to go when he retires. The Most Reverend Richard G. Henning is the new coadjutor bishop of Providence with a right of succession.
When he does take over, Henning will replace a religious leader whose conservative stance on issues such as abortion and same-sex marriage had prompted backlash.
Bishops must submit their resignations to the pope when they turn 75, though it is up to the pope to decide whether to accept the resignation and appoint a successor. In some cases, the pope has accepted a bishop’s resignation on the day they turn 75, while in other cases the bishop continues to serve past their birthday.
Tobin, a frequent critic of Francis who turns 75 on April 1, said he will submit his resignation as expected and that the timeline is up to the pope.
“The transition, I think, will happen pretty quickly,” Tobin said. “I hope my retirement is accepted in a timely man …

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