THE retirement of Bishop Gerard Clifford, as auxiliary bishop of Armagh, on the grounds of ill health, will be met with sadness by many, and also with gradititude for the great service he has given to the diocese and Dundalk in particular.
Bishop Clifford was ordained to the priesthood in 1967 and ordained a bishop in 1991 and served as executive secretary of the Irish Catholic Bishops’ Conference from 1984 to 1991.
He was highly popular with both church clerics and the laity and his worked covered ecumenism and education.
He was President of Cura, the pregnancy support group and was part of the response by the Catholic Church in Ireland to the late Pope John Paul’s request for the Christian churches to work more closely together.
He worked closely in this field with the late Canon William Arlow of the Church of Ireland.
His decision to retire as auxiliary bishop of the Archdiocese of Armagh is based on medical advice and we can only wish him well and once again say thank you.
As he said on the announcement of his retirement, he was born in the parish of Lordship and Ballymascanlon in 1941 and as priest and auxiliary bishop in the Archdiocese of Armagh, received great warmth and affection throughout his ministry from the people of the diocese.
“I thank them for their support in my 21 years as auxiliary bishop,” he said.
He will be greatly missed.