Archbishop John writes:
Following Bishop Patrick Lynch’s submission of his resignation to our Holy Father, Pope Francis, we have received news from Rome that this has now been accepted, allowing Bishop Pat to retire.
We are grateful to the Holy Father for granting this request and for the support of Archbishop Gugerotti, the Apostolic Nuncio to Great Britain. We thank the Religious Congregation of the Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary for the gift of Bishop Pat to the Archdiocese of Southwark, first as a priest and then as a Bishop. As he now steps back from the formal office of Auxiliary Bishop, we are delighted that he will be retiring in the Archdiocese where he has made his home and has so many friends.
Bishop Pat has served the Archdiocese with distinction and generosity as a true shepherd to clergy, religious, and laity alike. His pastoral mission here for the past twenty-two years, the last fourteen of those as an Auxiliary Bishop, has been marked by passion for the Gospel, deep sensitivity, and a special care for migrants and ethnic chaplaincies and communities. Along with pastoral responsibility for the parishes of South East London, Bishop Pat has also exercised oversight of Catholic education, working faithfully with four Archbishops. Added to this has been his important collaboration with the Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales, and the Holy See, in working to combat human slavery and trafficking.
Bishop Pat’s joy as a disciple and a pastor, always quick to encourage and affirm, has been such a blessing to so many people. We extend to him our immense gratitude for all he has given to our Archdiocese and the Church in England and Wales. As soon as it is practically possible, we will arrange for the celebration of Mass in St George’s Cathedral to mark Bishop Pat’s retirement.
On hearing the news from Rome, Bishop Pat wrote: “For the last twenty-two years I have been privileged to have served the Lord here in the Archdiocese of Southwark – in the parishes of Nunhead and South Norwood, as Vicar for Religious and as Auxiliary Bishop. Unfortunately, however, the after effect of surgery nine years ago is now limiting my ability to carry out some pastoral responsibilities. I am, therefore, grateful to our Holy Father and to Archbishop John for their understanding and for accepting my wish to retire from active ministry as an Auxiliary Bishop. As I begin the transition to retirement I give thanks for the many ways the Lord has blessed me over those years: through the kindness and wisdom of Archbishops Michael, Kevin, Peter and John; through the support and dedication of the priests, deacons and religious of the Archdiocese; and through the prayers and witness of so many lay people. Do remember me in your prayers in the weeks and months to come. I extend to you every good wish and blessing.”
We offer Bishop Pat our sincere thanks and love as he moves into a new expression and pace of ministry. We very much look forward to him continuing to be part of the life of the Archdiocese and assure him of our heartfelt prayers and support.
+ John Wilson
Archbishop of Southwark
28 November 2020