Pope Francis has accepted the resignation of Bishop Thomas Matthew Burns, S.M. as Bishop of Menevia in Wales.
Burns submitted his resignation on June 3, the day of his 75th birthday, as is required of all bishops by Canon Law.
A priest of the Society of Mary, Burns was ordained a Bishop of the Forces in 2002, serving as the bishop for the Military Ordinariate for the British Armed Forces.
In 2008, Pope Benedict XVI appointed him Bishop of Menevia and he was installed on 1 December of that year.
The Catholic Bishops Conference of England and Wales announced that Archbishop George Stack, Metropolitan Archbishop of Cardiff, will serve as Apostolic Administrator of Menevia, effective immediately.
Burns said in a statement: “I feel unworthy to have been chosen by the Lord to be a Priest and then a Bishop, to navigate waters that have become increasingly challenging, yet day by day were filled with so many graces. I thank the Lord, as well as clergy and people, for so many blessings, and ask forgiveness for my failings.”
“I now welcome warmly the Holy Father’s appointment of Archbishop Stack as Apostolic Administrator of Menevia. His discerning approach will serve the Diocese well. I have already come to value his guidance and friendship on so many issues and occasions. My prayers are with him and everyone as they move forward together, whilst I take my happy memories into retirement, with gratitude to all. Please keep me in your prayers.”
Archbishop Stack said: “In accepting the new responsibilities given to me by the Holy Father, I feel humbled by his request and grateful for his confidence in me. It will be an honour for me to serve the clergy and people of the Diocese of Menevia as Apostolic Administrator. I will also strongly encourage the positive pastoral initiatives and administrative developments already underway in the Diocese, to ensure that the parishes of Menevia remain vibrant, missionary, and in a state of readiness for the future. Until now I have been “your next-door neighbour”, but shortly I look forward to getting to know the Diocese of Menevia better, and to learn and appreciate its unique history and characteristics. With assurances of my prayers for you, please pray for me.”
A Mass of Thanksgiving will be celebrated at St Joseph’s Cathedral in Swansea on 23 July.