Updated 09/21/2012 11:27 AM
Bishop Clark Begins Retirement
There is a new leader od the Roman Catholic Diocese of Rochester effective today. Bishop Matthew Clark, who has served the diocese for the last 33 years is now bishop emeritus.
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Bishop Clark submitted his resignation in July upon his 75th birthday, something that's required by Church law. Pope Benedict the 16th informed the Bishop two weeks ago that resignation would take effect today.
As Bishop Clark made the announcement, he was joined by Syracuse Bishop Robert Cunningham. Cunningham will serve as Apostolic Administrator or interim bishop in Rochester until the Vatican names a permanent successor.
Bishop Clark said this type of transition is not a common practice and was somewhat surprised by the move. He accepts the Holy See's decision.
Bishop Clark said, "I assure the good and faithful people in our 12 counties that the governance of this diocese is in excellent hands and now that a provision has been made for the pastoral care of our diocese, I am deeply peaceful and I look forward with lively curiosity to a new phase of my life in ministry after more than 33 years as bishop of this wonderful diocese."
Bishop Cunningham says he expects to spend at least one day a week in Rochester until a new bishop is named.
As for Bishop Clark, he's going to remain the the Rochester area and assist with local ministry when help is needed.