October 16, 2015
Lubbock—During a press conference Oct. 12 at Christ the King Cathedral, Bishop Plácido Rodríguez, CMF, read aloud the letter he sent to Pope Francis resigning his position as Bishop of Lubbock. As mandated by Canon Law, when a bishop reaches the age of 75, he must resign his office. Bishop Rodríguez celebrated his 75th birthday on Oct. 11.
The transition out of the role and into retirement could take as long as 14 months. Bishop Rodríguez said, “The pope will be the one to appoint the new bishop. In the meantime, I am responsible for the Church.”
Installed as the second Bishop of Lubbock on June 1, 1994, Bishop Rodríguez will be the first to retire from the office. His predecessor, Archbishop Michael Sheehan, was appointed the eleventh Archbishop of Santa Fe in 1993. Archbishop Sheehan turned 75 in July 2014 and it was 11 months later when Bishop John Wester was installed Archbishop of Santa Fe in June 2015.
Bishop Rodríguez stressed that this transition is an opportunity for renewal and awareness of God’s visitation on the Diocese of Lubbock, through the retirement and receiving the appointment of a new Bishop of Lubbock. “It is a moment of grace and renewal.”
“Truly we are One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church,” he remarked. “It is my hope that there will be a deepening of our Catholic identity, that our roots be truly apostolic and that we grow in confidence in the Faith, that we will invite others to join us in the Joy of the Gospel, so that all Catholics may be around the Eucharistic table.”