Two burnt-out French bishops voluntarily become auxiliaries

Citing exhaustion from a demanding job, two French bishops have voluntarily been demoted to auxiliary bishop status in the latest sign of serious strains in the country’s episcopacy.

Bishop Thierry Brac de la Perrière, 64, will move “to a less onerous and less exposed ministry” in his east-central home archdiocese of Lyon from Nevers in the nearby Burgundy region, where he was bishop since 2011.

He had already served as Lyon auxiliary bishop from 2003 to 2011.

Bishop Jean-Pierre Batut of Blois in the Loire Valley will join the Toulouse archdiocese in southwest France, which previously had no auxiliary. The 68-year-old had been a Lyon auxiliary bishop from 2009 to 2015.

Moving down the career path is unusual, but both shepherds warned their flocks of their failing energy.

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