Saturday 15 March 2014

Father Robert to be made a Bishop

The Holy Father has appointed Fr Robert Byrne to be an auxiliary bishop of the Archdiocese of Birmingham. The new Bishop will have responsibility for Birmingham and Worcestershire. He will be the titular Bishop of Cuncacestre (Chester-le-Street).


Please pray for Fr Robert as he prepares for his episcopal ordination. He will be the first Oratorian bishop appointed in England since 1874, when Fr Edward Bagshawe of the London Oratory became Bishop of Nottingham.

Fr Robert's episcopal ordination will take place at St Chad's Cathedral, Birmingham at 11am on Tuesday 13th May. There will be a coach organised from Oxford - details to follow.

His Grace the Archbishop of Birmingham, the Most Reverend Bernard Longley, said:

“I am immensely grateful to Pope Francis for appointing Fr Robert Byrne Auxiliary Bishop of Birmingham. From his time at the Birmingham Oratory and as Provost of the Oxford Oratory, Fr Robert has come to know our Archdiocese well. Having worked alongside him in recent years as the Bishops’ Conference’s Ecumenical Officer, I know that he will bring considerable pastoral, theological and administrative skills to his new responsibilities as a bishop. Above all I am grateful that he brings the spirituality of St Philip Neri, the founder of the Oratory, to enrich his ministry among us. I know that everybody in the Archdiocese, and especially in his pastoral area of Birmingham and Worcestershire, will join me in asking for the prayers of Fr Robert’s fellow Oratorian, Blessed John Henry Newman, as he now prepares for his episcopal ordination in May. I also wish to record my abiding gratitude to Bishop Philip Pargeter for continuing to serve the Archdiocese with great dedication in recent years and for the support and friendship he has so generously given me.”

An interview with Fr Robert may be seen