Pope Francis accepts Cardinal John Dew’s resignation


The Vatican, Friday, announced Cardinal John Dew’s resignation as Archbishop of Wellington last Friday.

Dew (pictured right) explains “Canon law requires that bishops offer their resignation to the Holy Father when they reach 75 years of age, and yesterday I reached that age.”

Pope Francis has accepted his resignation.

“It is with sadness that I say goodbye and an enormous thank you to you all,” says Dew.

“I will still be about and look forward to being involved in the life of the Archdiocese in other ways.”

Dew remains as Apostolic Administrator of the Diocese of Palmerston North and will continue with his various Vatican roles, including appointments to the Dicastery for Evangelisation, the Dicastery for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments, and the Dicastery for Promoting Christian Unity.

He remains eligible to take part in papal elections until he is 80.

Being archbishop “has been a privilege” that came with “many challenges and some difficulties.

“Like Jesus at times I have also had to be resolute about “taking the road to Jerusalem” (Luke 9:51).

“I have always loved this part of Luke’s Gospel which follows straight after the experience of Jesus on the Mount of Transfiguration.

“It is a reminder that when we have encountered Jesus in prayer we can be resolute in dealing with challenges and difficulties.”

“Never forget that we are all the chosen and beloved daughters and sons of God. We are privileged to walk together in our Church, our family of faith.

“Thank you for your prayers, love and support.

“Your constant support, your commitment to the Church, your willingness to walk the way of Jesus, tell the truth of Jesus and live the life of Jesus have been inspiring.”

Since June 2022 pain in his legs meant Dew found it difficult to walk and on March 21 he had spinal surgery. After a period of convalescence, he is back walking with much more ease.

Dew had only briefly resumed his duties before Pope Francis accepted his resignation.

Simultaneous with Dew’s resignation Pope Francis appointed Coadjutor Archbishop Paul Martin (pictured left) as the 8th Archbishop of Wellington.

“I wish Paul every blessing and ask that you support him in the same way as you have supported me,” says Dew.

Dew wants people to pray for his successor.

“Every time you go to Mass and hear Archbishop Paul’s name in the Eucharistic Prayer, please make that a sincere prayer for him,” he says.

For his part, Martin says the Archdiocese will miss Dew.

“He has guided the Archdiocese of Wellington through many challenges and major changes, always with a very pastoral approach. He has also had many demanding national roles in the Church”, says Martin.

Although already Archbishop of Wellington, Martin’s installation as Archbishop takes place on Saturday 17th June at St Teresa’s Pro-Cathedral, Karori.


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