Less than 48 hours after the Davenport Catholic Diocese announced it will seek bankruptcy protection, comes another announcement — the bishop has been replaced. Bishop William Franklin said today (Thursday) that in May of 2005, when he turned 75 years old, he sent a letter to the Vatican indicating his willingness to resign…a letter he says was required by canon law
“For the past 17 months,” Franklin says, “We have prayed for a new Bishop. Today, our prayers have been answered.” Franklin announced the Pope’s accepted his resignation and has appointed Bishop Martin John Amos as the eighth bishop of Davenport. Amos had been an auxiliary bishop in Cleveland, Ohio, and at today’s announcement Amos said he knows what he’s getting into.
Franklin says the church needs to continue to “reach out and touch those who are touched by sexual abuse,” and to strengthen the protection of children and young people. He says this week’s announcement of the bankruptcy also will have serious implications in the months ahead.
Franklin’s led the Davenport diocese, with its 85 parishes and more than 100-thousand members, through some rough times including more than 35 priest-abuse lawsuits that led to settlements totaling nine-million dollars.