WASHINGTON (July 22, 1999) -- Following is the statement of Bishop Joseph A. Fiorenza, President of the National Conference of Catholic Bishops, on the resignation of Bishop G. Patrick Ziemann from the Diocese of Santa Rosa, California.
The U.S. Bishops have been informed that the Holy See has accepted the resignation of Bishop G. Patrick Ziemann as the Bishop of Santa Rosa, California.
The resignation of Bishops in special circumstances is a matter that concerns the Holy See and the individual Bishop. While I do not know all the factors that went into the decision, I want to express my confidence that the Holy See and Bishop Ziemann acted in the best interests of the Diocese of Santa Rosa and of the whole Church.
My prayers are with all the faithful of Santa Rosa at this difficult time, as they are with Archbishop William J. Levada of San Francisco, who has been asked by the Holy See to take on the additional responsibility of Apostolic Administrator of the Diocese of Santa Rosa until a new bishop is appointed.
Bishop Ziemann has been a member of the National Conference of Catholic Bishops for more than 12 years and has provided leadership in many areas. Our prayers are with him as he confronts a most difficult moment in his life as a priest and bishop. I understand he has undergone a medical evaluation and will follow up on the recommendations of his medical advisors in the immediate future. I am sure that God's grace will be with him during this time as will the concern and prayers of his fellow Bishops.
Bishop Joseph A. Fiorenza of Galveston-Houston
National Conference of Catholic Bishops
July 22, 1999