Statement by Archbishop Francis Duffy on the retirement of Bishop John Fleming

Today marks the retirement of Bishop John Fleming as Bishop of Killala after twenty-two years of service.  Bishop John’s dedicated and innovative pastoral leadership is much appreciated by the people of the Diocese of Killala.
I thank Bishop John also for his outstanding contributions to the meetings of the Western Bishops.  I wish him good health and many years of happy and active retirement.
In the meantime, as Apostolic Administrator, I look forward to getting to know the people, priests and religious of the Diocese of Killala, as well as its traditions and heritage, as we work together towards union between the two dioceses of Killala and Tuam.
I thank Bishop Paul Dempsey for his energetic and very insightful work as a bishop of this province and wish him well in his new responsibilities in the Archdiocese of Dublin.  I wish Bishop Kevin Doran every blessing as he takes on the role of Apostolic Administrator in the Diocese of Achonry, in addition to his responsibilities as Bishop of Elphin.
The changes being announced today concerning the reconfiguration of dioceses in this province follow on from consultations carried out by the Apostolic Nuncio with groupings of people in Achonry, Elphin, Killala and Tuam.  A lot of ground-work in both the civil and canonical spheres will need to be carried out.  Fortunately, there is already a well-established practice of collaboration and cooperation between the western dioceses.  This is a sure sign of hope for the success of the important work that in now underway.
We are certainly living in changing times, and, providentially, one of the changes in the Catholic Church is the promotion of the synodal pathway.  I am confident that the path we have embarked upon will enable, enthuse and assist us as a believing community, in moving forward together, as both beneficiaries and sharers of the Good News of the Risen Lord.