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Cleveland's Bishop Lennon Is Retiring Immediately

Bishop Richard Lennon
Bishop Richard Lennon is retiring early.

Cleveland Bishop Richard Lennon is retiring early. The diocese announced this morning that Pope Francis has accepted the retirement Lennon asked for in a letter in November, citing “ongoing health challenges.”  Lennonn is 69 and  underwent emergency heart surgery earlier this year.

The church mandatory retirement age for bishops is 75.

The pope has appointed Bishop Daniel Edward Thomas as the administrator of the Cleveland diocese effective immediately. Thomas is now bishop of the Diocese of Toledo. He’ll continue in that role as well.  Lennon became the 10th bishop of the eight-county Cleveland diocese in 2006. He oversaw the controversial closure of dozens of churches, but also oversaw a major capital improvements fundraising campaign. 

M.L. Schultze is a freelance journalist. She spent 25 years at The Repository in Canton where she was managing editor for nearly a decade, then served as WKSU's news director and digital editor until her retirement.