Pope Francis has appointed Bishop Paul to the role of Coadjutor Archbishop of Wellington, where he will assist Cardinal John Dew.
The appointment was announced in Rome on 1st January. A coadjutor usually becomes the bishop or archbishop of a diocese when the incumbent bishop retires.
Archbishop Paul says: “This appointment was a surprise, and I will be sorry to leave the diocese of Christchurch and the work we have been doing. I have enjoyed the last two and a half years and so much has been achieved, and so much planned for the future. However part of this vocation is to be open to what is asked of us, and I have always tried to live my life in that way. It will be a privilege to take up this new role in the Church of Wellington and I look forward to being with the people in the Archdiocese again.” In writing to his priests, he said “I am sad that I won’t be continuing this journey of faith that we embarked upon together. There is a lot more that is possible and I have been very encouraged by your willingness and trust to step out in faith. It will now be the domain of a new bishop to lead you in this mission.”
Cardinal Dew, who is also President of the NZ Catholic Bishops Conference, says he is delighted with the appointment. “He is well known to clergy and many people of the diocese, and will be warmly welcomed by all,” says Cardinal Dew. “I am fully confident that he will lead the diocese into the future with new vision and energy.”
The appointment takes effect immediately. Archbishop Paul will maintain his connection with the diocese by acting as Apostolic Administrator until the Pope appoints a new bishop for us and he hopes to spend the majority of his time here in the immediate future.
Archbishop Paul asks that he be kept in your prayers as he will keep the diocese in his prayers.