Vatican Accepts Resignation of Sacramento Bishop

Associated Press, carried in International Herald Tribune
November 29, 2008

VATICAN CITY: Pope Benedict XVI has accepted the resignation of Sacramento's bishop, who has had health problems, and appointed the California diocese's coadjutor as his successor.

The Vatican said in a statement Saturday that Bishop William Weigand, who led the 900,000-member diocese for 15 years, will be replaced by Jaime Soto, who became coadjutor bishop in 2007.

Weigand has cited his age and health as reasons for retirement. The 71-year-old bishop has a chronic liver disease.

Weigand drew national attention in 2003 when he challenged then-California Gov. Gray Davis to abstain from Communion because of his abortion rights stance.

In 2005, the bishop oversaw the diocese's $35 million payment to settle 33 claims of clergy sexual abuse.


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