Richmond, Va., Bishop Sullivan Resigns

Guardian [Vatican]
September 16, 2003

VATICAN CITY (AP) - The pope on Tuesday accepted the resignation of Bishop Walter F. Sullivan, a leading progressive in the American church during his 29 years as head of the diocese in Richmond, Va.

Sullivan's resignation was accepted for reasons of age. He turned 75, the normal retirement age for bishops, on June 10.

Sullivan was the longest-serving head of the Richmond Diocese. He pushed for a greater role for women in the church, and Richmond's Commission on Sexual Minorities was the first official attempt by a Catholic diocese to reach out to homosexual parishioners when it was established in 1977.

He was a vocal opponent of military conflicts and said in March he deeply regretted "that our nation's leaders have determined that war is necessary to resolve our differences with Iraq."

No immediate successor was named.


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