Cardinal confirms some priests decline bishop appointments

Numbers are not high but some say no for health, personal reasons, Vatican official says

Vatican City
February 2, 2016
Although the number is not high, it is no longer "exceptional" to have priests turn down an appointment as bishop, said Canadian Cardinal Marc Ouellet, prefect of the Congregation for Bishops, Catholic News Service reported.

Speaking Feb. 1 about the annual course his office sponsors for new bishops, the cardinal was asked about rumors that more and more priests are saying they do not want to be a bishop and declining an appointment even when the pope, on the recommendation of Cardinal Ouellet's office, has chosen them.

"Yes, that's true. Nowadays you have people who do not accept the appointment," he said, adding that he would not provide statistics on how often it happens, although he insisted the number was not huge.

Priests decline for a variety of reasons, including health, Cardinal Ouellet said.

Others decline because of something in their past or because they think they cannot handle the responsibility, he said.

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