Belleville Diocese waiting to see if Pope accepts resignation of controversial bishop

News Democrat

June 26, 2019

By Teri Maddox

Bishop Edward K. Braxton turns 75 on Friday, prompting supporters and critics to wonder how much longer he will be leading the Catholic Diocese of Belleville.

Canon law requires bishops to submit resignations at age 75, but it’s up to Pope Francis whether to accept them.

“The ministry of a bishop in a diocese requires a total commitment of energy, and anything, including age, that decreases the ability to dedicate oneself fully to serving the church and the faithful is the reason that retirements are offered at 75,” said Monsignor John T. Myler, diocesan spokesman and rector at the Cathedral of St. Peter in Belleville.

Braxton plans to submit his resignation on Friday, Myler said, but nothing will change with day-to-day operations until the Pope makes a decision.

“Sometimes the Pope may ask a diocesan bishop to remain for a certain period — months, a year, even several years,” Myler said.

The Rev. James “Clyde” Grogan predicts it won’t be long for Braxton. The retired priest is among those who believe the bishop has been rigid, insensitive, arrogant and non-transparent during his 14 years in Belleville.

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