WASHINGTON (June 1, 1998) -- Pope John Paul II has accepted the resignation of Bishop J. Keith Symons of Palm Beach, Florida. The Pope appointed Bishop Robert N. Lynch of St. Petersburg to be Apostolic Administrator of Palm Beach until a successor to Bishop Symons is named. Bishop Lynch, 57, continues as Bishop of St. Petersburg, a post he has held since January, 1996.
Monsignor Renato Volante, Charge d'Affaires at the Apostolic Nunciature here, made the announcement.
Robert N. Lynch was born in Charleston, West Virginia, May 27, 1941. He received a bachelor of arts degree from the Pontifical College, Josephinum, Worthington, Ohio, and holds a Master of Divinity degree from Pope John XXIII National Seminary in Weston, Massachusetts. He was ordained for the Archdiocese of Miami on May 13, 1978.
Bishop Lynch was Associate General Secretary of the National Conference of Catholic Bishops/United States Catholic Conference from 1984 to 1989 and General Secretary from 1989 to 1995.
He was serving as pastor of St. Mark Church, Fort Lauderdale, when he was named Bishop of St. Petersburg, December 5, 1995.
Joseph Keith Symons was born in Champion, Michigan, October 14, 1932. He graduated from St. Mary's Seminary in Baltimore and was ordained a priest of the diocese of St. Augustine, Florida, on May 18, 1958. He was accepted into the diocese of St. Petersburg upon its establishment in 1968.
Bishop Symons was appointed Vicar General and Chancellor of the St. Petersburg diocese in 1971 and was serving in those posts when he was named Auxiliary Bishop of St. Petersburg on January 27, 1981. He was named Bishop of Pensacola-Tallahassee on October 4, 1983.
On June 12, 1990, Bishop Symons was appointed second Bishop of Palm Beach. Established in 1984, the Diocese of Palm Beach comprises the counties of Palm Beach, Martin, Indian River, Okeechobee and St. Lucie in the State of Florida. It has a Catholic population of 205,000 in a total population of 1.2 million.