Up to 22 U.S. bishops could retire for age reasons in 2008
Published: January 29, 2008
WASHINGTON (CNS) -- With the Jan. 24 retirement of 77-year-old Bishop John J. Leibrecht of Springfield-Cape Girardeau, Mo., up to 22 U.S. bishops, including four cardinals, could retire because of age this year. There are 14 active U.S. bishops, including four cardinals, who have already turned 75. Seven more will celebrate their 75th birthday in 2008. At age 75 bishops are requested to submit their resignation to the pope. Cardinal Adam J. Maida of Detroit turned 75 March 18, 2005. Cardinal Bernard F. Law, archpriest of St. Mary Major Basilica in Rome and a cardinal since 1985, turned 75 Nov. 4, 2006. Cardinal Edward M. Egan of New York, whose 75th birthday was April 2, 2007, also celebrated 50 years as a priest last year. Cardinal F. James Stafford, a Baltimore native who marked his 75th birthday July 26, 2007, has been the Vatican's major penitentiary since 2003. Pope John Paul II often asked cardinals to stay on the job after they reached the age of 75. Pope Benedict XVI has given no indication that he will change that practice. Even when a cardinal retires in his 70s, he remains an active member of the College of Cardinals, eligible to enter a conclave and vote for a new pope, until age 80.
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