Cleveland Bishop Richard Lennon retiring due to ongoing health issues

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CLEVELAND, Ohio -- Cleveland Bishop Richard Lennon has been granted early retirement due to ongoing health challenges.

According to a release from the Diocese of Cleveland, Pope Francis has accepted Lennon's resignation.

The Pope has also appointed Toledo Bishop Daniel Edward Thomas as the Apostolic Administrator of the Diocese of Cleveland to "administer the affairs" of the diocese until a permanent appointment is made to replace Lennon.

Thomas currently serves as bishop of the Diocese of Toledo, and he will continue serving in that role.

Lennon became the 10th bishop of the Diocese of Cleveland in May 2006.

The release states:

"During his tenure as Bishop of Cleveland, Bishop Lennon established a vision for the Church in the diocese focusing on evangelization with an emphasis on the Gospel. Upon taking office, Bishop Lennon immediately set out to visit all of the parishes and schools in the Diocese.

In 2009, he acted on years of planning work developed prior to his arrival in Cleveland and directed a diocesan reconfiguration effort aimed at strengthening the diocese for the future by ensuring diocesan resources would be shared equitably throughout the diocese.

Other accomplishments by Bishop Lennon to improve the diocese included a major capital campaign, the institution of parish and school internal audits, and the establishment of norms on models for Catholic schools and catechetical models for children."

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