St Catherine`s Standard
07 April 2010
The head of the St. Catharines diocese of the Roman Catholic Church has unexpectedly stepped down.
Few details about Bishop James Wingle’s resignation have been released. According to the Vatican Information Service, the pope accepted Wingle’s resignation this morning.
Wingle, who was appointed as the local Bishop in 2002, issued a short letter to the diocese saying he was taking a sabbatical “centered on prayer and personal renewal” and that he no longer than the stamina to meet the demands of bishop.
Wingle, a staunch public defender of Catholic orthodoxy, was a key figure in organizing World Youth Day in 2005 during the visit of the late Pope John Paul II.
A diocese administrator will be appointed in about a week who will assume the duties of the bishop until permanent replacement is appointed by the Vatican.
Bishop James Wingle’s letter to the diocese:
Dear priests, deacons, religious and faithful of the Diocese of St. Catharines,
“This is to inform you that I am deeply grateful to His Holiness, Pope Benedict XVI, for his paternal consideration in accepting my resignation as Bishop of St. Catharines, effective today.
“My decision to offer my resignation was the result of a long and intense process of prayer and reflection. The duties of the office of a diocesan bishop call for vigorous stamina to meet the challenges of leadership. I am no longer able to maintain the necessary stamina to fulfil properly my duties. I believe that my resignation will serve not only my own spiritual and personal wellbeing, but the good of the diocese and the Church as well.
“To take leave of people one has come to love and cherish as diocesan bishop is not an easy matter. I am profoundly grateful to God for the many wonderful people I have come to know, and for the gifted men and women, priests, deacons, religious sisters and brothers, and dedicated lay men and women with whom I have worked closely across the years as Bishop of St. Catharines. It has been a privilege and a blessing to have served with you. If my shortcomings and limitations have caused any disappointment, I ask for God’s mercy and your understanding. I pray that the work we have accomplished in the service of the Lord and his Church will bear much fruit, now and in the years to come. You can be sure that I will continue to support you with my prayer and warm interest.
“As I take a sabbatical centered on prayer and personal renewal, I count on your prayer, not only for myself but also for the continued growth and development of the Diocese of St. Catharines that I love so much. The risen Christ bids us to move forward in hope, trusting in his loving kindness. ”
Article ID# 2523977