BISHOP Brian Finnigan will begin the new year in retirement from his episcopal ministry after Pope Francis officially accepted his resignation yesterday.
The Holy Father accepted the resignation of Brisbane Auxiliary Bishop Brian Vincent Finnigan, aged 77, on December 30, 2015, two years after he had presented it to Pope Francis.
Diocesan bishops are canonically requested to present their resignation to the Holy Father at 75 years of age.
Bishop Finnigan served as auxiliary bishop of Brisbane for 13 years and wholeheartedly welcomed his retirement in an official letter sent to clergy in the archdiocese.
“I am grateful that it has now come to pass,” Bishop Finnigan said.
“At 77 years of age, energy levels and mental agility have diminished.”
The youngest of 12 children from Port Fairy, Victoria, Bishop Finnigan was ordained a priest for the Ballarat diocese on May 23, 1970.
Clocking up more than 40 years in the priesthood, Bishop Finnigan said his pastoral ministry also came with disappointments and challenges.
“From those whom I may have disappointed, I seek forgiveness,” he said.
He was appointed auxiliary bishop for Brisbane on January 31, 2002, preceding his episcopal ordination on April 8.
“It has been a great blessing to minister with two skilled and pastoral Archbishops, John Bathersby and Mark Coleridge, active and retired Auxiliaries, priests, religious and the faithful over the thirteen years,” Bishop Finnigan said.
“It has been a great privilege to serve in the Archdiocese of Brisbane, and I am now looking forward to the next phase of my life.
“All those with whom I have worked and whom I have served can be assured of my prayerful support in the coming years.”