THE AUXILIARY BISHOP of the Archdiocese of Armagh, Gerard Clifford, has announced his retirement.
Clifford said that his decision was based on medical advice that he had been receiving since last August.
He said that he was thankful for the support that he had received during his 21 years as Auxiliary Bishop, and paid a special tribute to Cardinal Seán Brady, saying that “his humanity, deep faith and natural humility bear witness to the most fundamental of Gospel values.”
Brady said that he was pleased for “Bishop Clifford’s own sake and for his health.”
Clifford, who was born 1941, had been ordained as a priest in 1967 before being ordained Bishop in 1991.
The resignation was made official following the its acceptance by Pope Benedict XVI, who is also due to retire tomorrow.
As the Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Armagh, Clifford had worked with Cardinal Brady since his own appointment as the Archbishop of Armagh in 1995.
Speaking of the work over the years, Brady said that Clifford had made a “selfless contribution to the work of the Irish Bishops’ Conference over the last twenty years”.
Clifford said that he looked forward to “continuing my pastoral work in collaboration and with the support of the bishops, priests and lay people of the Archdiocese.”
As I take on a different role I will continue, God willing, to promote and foster the Gospel message in its fullness. I ask that you remember me in your prayers today and in the future.