Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Bishop Joseph Charron, Bishop of DesMoines, former StP-M Auxiliary, Retires Because of Illness

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Bishop Joseph Charron, a priest of the Missionaries of the Precious Blood, Bishop of DesMoines since 1993 has submitted his resignation to Rome because of illness and it has been accepted. Bishop Charron was an Auxiliary Bishop in St Paul-Minneapolis between 1989 and 1993.

Des Moines Bishop Joseph Charron retired Tuesday, after a 13-year tenure in which he led the Roman Catholic diocese to stronger financial footing, acted decisively against priests accused of child sexual abuse, addressed the needs of a growing Latino population, emphasized adult faith formation, and encouraged laity to participate in planning.

The diocese covers the Des Moines area and southwest Iowa. It includes 82 parishes and almost 100,000 Catholics, making it the smallest of Iowa's four dioceses.

Charron, 67, said he loves his job, but could not continue because of the pain and fatigue from a chronic form of an inflammatory disease. The stress of overseeing the diocese made his condition worse, he said, so he asked for the pope's permission to retire early.

Charron is revered by the people in the pews and admired by his priests - at a time when leadership in the Roman Catholic Church is under fire as it tries to deal with child sexual abuse by clergy, issues of openness related to that scandal and a declining number of priests.

"He was just one of the kindest, most gentle people, the essence of humility," said John Kilbride of Council Bluffs, a supporter. [....snip] for more: DesMoines Register

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