24 November – Message on the occasion of the acceptance by Pope Benedict XVI of the Resignation of Bishop Seamus Hegarty
THE ACCEPTANCE BY POPE BENEDICT XVI
OF THE RESIGNATION OF BISHOP SEAMUS HEGARTY
I thank Bishop Hegarty for his faithful and generous service as bishop, first, of the diocese of Raphoe and more recently of Derry, for almost thirty years during what has been a very challenging period in the history of the Church.
I wish to acknowledge the contribution made by Bishop Hegarty to the work of the Bishops’ Conference and especially in the pastoral leadership which he has shown over the years to the personal, social and economic challenges facing Irish emigrants and their families – difficult conditions which again apply to Irish society – North and South. In addition, I thank Bishop Hegarty for his work with the Irish Council for Prisoners Overseas, and especially for his unwavering commitment to the welfare of prisoners and assistance to their families.
I wish Bishop Hegarty the blessing of better health to enjoy a long and happy retirement.