Former Catholic bishop of Jackson William Houck dies at 89
March 9, 2016
JACKSON, Miss. (AP) - A retired Roman Catholic bishop in Jackson has died.
Current Bishop Joseph Kopacz says Bishop William Houck died early Wednesday at St. Dominic’s Hospital of complications following heart surgery.
Houck, 89, led the diocese covering 65 counties in central and northern Mississippi from 1984 to 2003.
A native of Mobile, Alabama, Houck was ordained there in 1951 and served in Alabama before being ordained an auxiliary bishop of Jackson in 1979. As bishop, Houck supported improved children’s services, evangelization efforts and a new state flag He opposed the death penalty.
His tenure was marred by lawsuits against the diocese over sexual abuse by priests.
Houck led the Chicago-based Catholic Extension Society from 2001 to 2007. The group supports missions in American regions with few Catholics.
Funeral services are being arranged.