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Pope Francis appoints Bishop Donal McKeown as Apostolic Administrator of Down and Connor

Saturday, 21 January 2023

The Holy Father Pope Francis has appointed Bishop Donal McKeown, Bishop of the Diocese of Derry, as Apostolic Administrator of the Diocese of Down and Connor as well as remaining Bishop of Derry with immediate effect, from today, Saturday, 21 January 2023.

This is a temporary appointment until the appointment of a new Bishop of Down and Conor. We ask the Lord to give him renewed strength and peace as he takes on his new role in addition to his role as Bishop of our Diocese.

In November, Pope Francis appointed the outgoing Bishop Noel Treanor as Apostolic Nuncio to the European Union.

In response to the announcement of Bishop McKeown's appointment, Archbishop Noel Treanor said:"I warmly welcome the appointment this morning by Pope Francis of Bishop Donal McKeown as Apostolic Administrator of Down and Connor, pending the appointment of a new bishop to Down and Connor.

As I take leave from the Diocese, I entrust Bishop Donal to the warmth and care of those whom I have had the privilege to know and serve over the last 14 years and I know they will welcome him back as they embraced me upon my arrival.I pray God's blessing on Bishop Donal as he generously takes up this ministry and service within the Diocese of Down and Connor."

Bishop Donal McKeown was ordained in 1977 and was appointed Bishop of Derry in 2014.

An Apostolic Administrator is appointed to temporarily govern a diocese when special circumstances warrant such an appointment. He governs in the name of the Holy Father pending the appointment of a Diocesan Bishop.

The appointment of Bishop Donal McKeown as Apostolic Administrator has taken place by Decree issued 21 January 2023 which grants him the rights, faculties and responsibilities attributed to a diocesan bishop that are applicable in accordance with canon law.

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