Pope accepts NZ Cardinal's resignation
Cardinal Thomas Williams, who has been Archbishop of Wellington for the past 25 years, has reached the mandatory retirement age of 75, and announced that his resignation has been accepted by Pope John Paul.
The Cardinal, who celebrated his birthday on Sunday, still has a number of international responsibilities, retaining membership of three Vatican bodies that will require travelling to Rome from time to time. Until the age of 80 he will be eligible to vote in a papal conclave.
Ordained Archbishop of Wellington in 1979 he was created Cardinal in Rome in 1983 and was awarded the honour of the Order of New Zealand in June 2000.
Archbishop John Dew will succeed Cardinal Williams as Archbishop of Wellington immediately, and will be installed officially on 7 April at Sacred Heart Cathedral.
Archbishop Dew said it is impossible to list the number and variety of the Cardinal's achievements in the last 25 years. "He has played and will continue to play a significant role in the Church internationally. He is a loved leader, generous, inspired and gifted, and has given his heart, mind and will in the service of his people," he said.
Resignation of Cardinal Williams as Archbishop of Wellington (Catholic Communications New Zealand 22/3/05)
LINKS (not necessarily endorsed by Church Resources)
Catholic Church in New Zealand
Archdiocese of Wellington | Cardinal Thomas Williams | Archbishop John Dew
Thomas Stafford Cardinal Williams (catholic-hierarchy.org) | Archbishop John Atcherley Dew (catholic-hierarchy.org)
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Other Pontifical Acts (Vatican Information Service 21/3/05)
Cardinal resigning as Wellington's archbishop (NZ Catholic--temporary url 13/3/05)
22 Mar 2005