A message from Bishop Bill Wright on his health and ministry

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

Recent times have involved many difficulties for people in our region and across New South Wales and beyond.  In such times, it is the duty of a bishop to be present with his people, to encourage and support wherever he can, to provide some point of stability in a shook-up world. I am acutely conscious that for some months I have been incapable of providing that episcopal service.

At the end of June, I was an emergency admission to hospital, struggling to breathe.  Despite very good care and treatment, the condition of my lungs has not improved and, we now know, is an illness from which I will not recover.  Meanwhile, I am physically incapable of performing public ceremonies or of getting about without considerable assistance.  I can no longer fulfil a bishop’s role or duties.

Accordingly, I have written to the Holy Father, Pope Francis, submitting my resignation as bishop.  What happens next is, of course, entirely up to the Holy See.  In the meantime, I will effectively remain on sick leave and my place will be filled by the Vicar General and the excellent staff of the bishop’s office, as has been the case these last months.

I should like to thank all of you who have sent me ‘get well’ wishes during my illness, and most especially those who have held me in prayer.  The sensation of a peace and tranquility of spirit that come from beyond oneself has been very palpable in some of the challenging moments. May we continue to support each other in faith and love through all life’s challenges.

 

Bishop Bill Wright
Bishop of Maitland-Newcastle

16 September 2021

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