Bishop John wrote: "Today I am writing my letter of resignation as Bishop of Dromore to Pope Francis. I do so with a heavy heart. I wrestled with this decision over recent weeks; it was not an easy decision to take. Following recent media coverage which has disturbed and upset many people, I decided on Thursday to resign.
I would ask you first and foremost to continue to hold in your prayers those who have been abused and all who are suffering at this time."
He announced his temporary replacement: "Until new arrangements for the leadership of the Diocese are in place, Canon Liam Stevenson, the Vicar General will take responsibility for the day-to-day administration of the Diocese. As regards the celebration of Confirmation, the priests of each parish have been delegated to minister this Sacrament."
Bishop John wrote of his fondness for his region: "To serve as Bishop of Dromore, my home Diocese, has been the greatest privilege of my life, though not without its challenges."
"Finally, I want to say thank you for your kindness and co-operation over my time as Bishop. Please keep me in your prayers, as I will keep you in mine."
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