Pope Benedict XVI has accepted the resignation of Bishop John H. Ricard, SSJ, 71, from the pastoral governance of the Diocese of Pensacola-Tallahassee, Florida, for health reasons. At the same time, Pope Benedict named Archbishop Thomas Wenski of Miami as the Apostolic Administrator of the diocese until the installation of a new bishop.
The resignation and appointment were publicized in Washington, March 11, by Archbishop Pietro Sambi, Apostolic Nuncio to the United States.
- Bishop Ricard, a member of the Josephite Fathers, is a native of Baton Rouge, Louisiana. He was named auxiliary bishop of Baltimore in 1984, and bishop of Pensacola-Tallahassee in 1997.
- He holds a master’s degree in social work from Tulane University and a doctorate in social work from The Catholic University of America.
- As a member of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, Bishop Ricard has served on the Committee on International Justice and Peace, Committee on National Collections, and chair of the Subcommittee on the Church in Africa.
- The Diocese of Pensacola-Tallahassee was established in 1975, and comprises 14,000 square miles in the state of Florida. It has a population of 1,381566 people with 62,420 or five percent of them Catholic.