Pope Francis accepts resignation of Brooklyn auxiliary bishop at age 75

Courtney Mares   By Courtney Mares for CNA


Bishop Paul Sanchez. / Screenshot from OLQMStewardship YouTube channel.

Vatican City, Mar 30, 2022 / 08:05 am (CNA).

Pope Francis accepted the resignation on Wednesday of Bishop Paul Sanchez, who has served as an auxiliary bishop of the Diocese of Brooklyn for the past decade.

Sanchez was consecrated bishop and appointed as an auxiliary of the Brooklyn diocese in 2012. Bishops are required to send a resignation letter to the pope at the age of 75, which Sanchez reached on Nov. 26, 2021.

It is the second resignation of a Brooklyn auxiliary bishop this month. Pope Francis also accepted the resignation of 76-year-old Bishop Raymond Francis Chappetto on March 7.

Both Sanchez and Chappetto were appointed as auxiliary bishops on the same day in May 2012 by Benedict XVI.

Sanchez was born on Nov. 26, 1946, in Brooklyn. Bishop James Hickey, who later became Archbishop of Washington and a cardinal, ordained him to the priesthood at St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome in December 1971.

Before becoming a bishop, Sanchez served at several parishes and was a member of the diocesan liturgical commission, the presbyteral council, and a subcommittee of the International Committee on English in the Liturgy (ICEL).

He received a bachelor’s degree from St. Bonaventure’s University, a master’s degree from the University of Notre Dame, and a Licentiate in Sacred Theology from the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome. He speaks English and Spanish.

Sanchez was one of four auxiliary bishops for the diocese, which serves 1.5 million Catholics in 177 parishes in over 200 churches across the New York City boroughs of Brooklyn and Queens.

The diocese has been led by Bishop Robert Brennan since November 2021.

Cuban-born auxiliary Bishop Octavio Cisneros retired in 2020 after turning 75.

There are now three active auxiliary bishops in the diocese: Bishop James Massa, 61, Bishop Witold Mroziewski, 56, and Bishop Neil Tiedemann, 74.

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