A bishop in the UK has taken the unusual step of announcing his resignation on the grounds that the office is “too great a burden.”
Bishop Robert Byrne of Hexham and Newcastle announced his resignation on December 12 in a letter to the people of his diocese, which is based in the northeast of England.
He wrote: “The Church’s teachings confirm the diocesan bishop needs to be as Christ among the people entrusted to him. The office of bishop carries great responsibility to provide spiritual leadership and governance to the diocese. As St John Paul II observed: ‘What does the Lord require of us? What does the Lord require of me?’
“I have recently had need to discern and reflect upon this question for myself and the Diocese of Hexham & Newcastle. Having done so, and with great sorrow and reluctance, I have concluded that the office of the Diocesan Bishop has become too great a burden and I feel I must resign from my position as your bishop.”
Bishop Byrne began his priestly ministry as an Oratorian and explained in his letter that he would return to the Oratorian Community based in Oxford.
When Father Robert Byrne accepted the position of Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Birmingham in March 2014, he was the first Oratorian appointment since 1874.English bishop resigns, saying office is ‘too great a burden’ – Catholic World Report