Bishop Philip Boyce
The former Bishop of Raphoe Philip Boyce has stepped down as the apostolic administrator in the Diocese of Dromore.
Bishop Boyce has retired with immediate effect just over a year after he was appointed to the role. Bishop Boyce served as Bishop of Raphoe from 1995 until his retirement in 2017.
The 79-year-old came out of retirement in March 2018 when he temporarily replaced Bishop John McAreavey following his resignation over paedophile priest, Fr Malachy Finegan.
He is to be replaced by Archbishop Eamon Martin who was appointed by Pope Francis.
The move has been described as unprecedented in modern Irish Catholic Church history.
An apostolic administrator is appointed by the Pope to temporarily govern a diocese when special circumstances warrant such an appointment.
In a statement announcing the changes Bishop Boyce said: “I am very happy to welcome Archbishop Eamon Martin as the new Apostolic Administrator of Dromore. I wish to thank the people and clergy for their prayers, goodwill, encouragement and unstinting support over the last year. While I am looking forward to my retirement, I remain available to pastorally support Archbishop Martin, and Dromore, in any way that I can.”