Tipperary’s Bishop William Lee Resigns

One of Ireland’s longest serving bishops, seventy one year old Dr William Lee, has today (October 1st 2013) confirmed his resignation as bishop of Waterford and Lismore Diocese, due to a serious illness he has been battling for the past two years.

bishop_leeDr Lee has been bishop of the Waterford /Lismore Diocese for over 20 years and is regarded within the Roman Catholic Church as one of their most accomplished administrators.

Bishop William Lee who was born in Newport, County Tipperary on December 2nd 1941, is the eldest of five children born to John and Delia Lee, latter who ran a public house and auctioneering business in the town. Bishop Lee received his early education at the local Convent of Mercy Boys’ National Schools and later attended Rockwell College. He studied for the priesthood at St Patrick’s College, Maynooth and was ordained in the Diocese of Cashel and Emly on  June 19th, 1966.

Bishop Lee later studied canon law at Maynooth, where he received a doctorate in 1969, before serving for two years in the parish of Finglas West, in Dublin.  He also studied for a time at the Pontifical Gregorian University, in Rome.

He was later appointed a Professor of Philosophy and the Bursar at St Patrick’s College, here in Thurles and for 15 years was Director of the Catholic Marriage Advisory Council of Cashel Diocese. He also served on the Cork Regional Marriage Tribunal and was the President of St Patrick’s College, Thurles from 1987 to 1993.

Dr Lee was ordained Bishop of the Diocese of Waterford and Lismore on July 25th 1993 and in 1998, was appointed Secretary of the Irish Episcopal Conference.

Today it has been announced that His Holiness Pope Francis I has accepted the resignation of Bishop Lee, due to his ongoing health issues, which it is understood were first diagnosed back in July 2011.

The resignation of Bishop Lee today, will be greeted by priests, religious and people, both in his diocese and here in Thurles, with great sadness.

Dr Lee’s departure will now speed up the total overhaul of the Roman Catholic Church’s diocesan administration here in Ireland, with an estimated eight other dioceses either securing or seeking new bishops.

Thurles send Dr Lee every good wish for the future on his retirement and pray he will return once again to good health.


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