Thursday, 26 April 2012
The Season of Easter
To All of the Clergy, Religious, and Faithful,
It is my duty to inform you that today, at four o’clock central standard time in Arizona, Archbishop Lawrence J. Harms, D.D. in the presence of four witnesses, with clarity of mind and a desire to rest from his labors, resigned as Archbishop and Metropolitan of the American Catholic Church in the United States (ACCUS).
This freely chosen act of resignation (cc. 65§1, 96§1,3, 203) created a vacancy in the Metropolitan See. However, in his final act, prior to becoming Archbishop emeritus (c. 97), and in faithfully and charitably fulfilling his duties as the Shepherd of the Church, Archbishop Harms officially and canonically transferred his ministry and authority as Presiding Archbishop and Metropolitan of the American Catholic Church in the United States, selecting as his immediate successor, Most Reverend William A. Johnson, D.D. Archbishop William freely and canonically (cc. 68, 70§1, 205) accepted his election by Archbishop Lawrence.
As Chancellor, I announce to you that we have a new and canonically elected Presiding Archbishop and Metropolitan.
As of now, the Administrative Offices of the ACCUS, have been transferred to the residence of Archbishop William in West Allis, Wisconsin. All of us are reminded of our sacred promise of respect and obedience to our canonically elected Presiding Archbishop and Metropolitan.
As a Presbyterium, we now gather around our new Archbishop to pray for him, to offer our generous support and fraternal love. Bishops, therefore, with their helpers, the priests and deacons, have taken up the service of the community, (11*) presiding in place of God over the flock,(12*) whose shepherds they are, as teachers for doctrine, priests for sacred worship, and ministers for governing…Therefore, the Sacred Council teaches that bishops by divine institution have succeeded to the place of the apostles, (15*) as shepherds of the Church, and he who hears them, hears Christ, and he who rejects them, rejects Christ and Him who sent Christ.(Lumen gentium, Ch.3).
As a Presbyterium, it is our special duty to offer Mass, as well as the Liturgy of the Hours for our new Archbishop. We ask Our Lord to bless and guide him in his care and ministry to all of God’s People.
Pax et Bonum!
Very Rev. Christopher Bisett, OFM