VATICAN CITY (AP/WISH) - The pope has approved early retirement for Indianapolis Archbishop Daniel Buechlein, who has battled cancer and a stroke in recent years.
The Vatican didn't name a replacement Tuesday in a brief statement announcing the 73-year-old's retirement. Bishops can ask the Vatican to retire earlier than the normal retirement age of 75 if they are sick or if some other serious reason makes them unable to do their job.
Recently-appointed auxiliary Bishop Christopher J. Coyne will govern the archdiocese pending the naming of a new archbishop, according to the archdiocesan website.
"It has been a joy for me to serve as Archbishop of the Archdiocese of Indianapolis for the past 20 years. I want to thank all of the clergy, religious, archdiocesan staff and lay people for the support you have given me over the years," Archbishop Buechlein said on the website. "You truly have been a blessing to me. With your help and the help of God we have been able to accomplish much."
The archdiocese said a news conference was planned for later in the day.
Buechlein suffered a stroke in March and in 2008 was diagnosed with Hodgkin's lymphoma, according to the archdiocesan website.
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