February 11, 2005

Resigned to an active future

Providence Journal

08:36 AM EST on Friday, February 11, 2005

Journal Religion Writer

PROVIDENCE -- Bishop Robert E. Mulvee of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Providence said he hasn't composed his letter of resignation yet, but you can count on it being in the mail on Tuesday.,

Bishop Robert E. Mulvee of the Diocese of Providence, who turns 75 today, will submit his resignation letter as required to the Vatican next week. It's up to the pope to decide whether the resignation will be accepted.

Tuesday is Mulvee's 75th birthday, which looms large because there's a provision in the church's canon law that states that diocesan bishops are to turn in their resignations to the "Supreme Pontiff" when they have "completed their 75th year."

He said he never thought of not sending the letter. ...

While the Vatican has not asked Bishop Mulvee of late who he'd recommend as his successor, he did submit a list of three he thought might be excellent coadjutor bishops when his auxiliary, the Most Rev. Robert McManus became bishop of Worcester nine months ago.

With 152 parishes and 679,275 Catholics according to the latest official Catholic directory, the Diocese of Providence is the 25th largest diocese in the country, out of 180. If archdioceses were removed from the list, it ranks as the country's 11th largest diocese.

Although the diocese had once been singled out by clergy sexual-abuse groups as having one of the worst records in the country in terms of fighting victims in court, it's now recognized as being more of a model diocese when it comes to reaching out, since Bishop Mulvee and 37 plaintiffs reached a $14.5-million settlement last year.

Posted by kshaw at February 11, 2005 07:52 AM