THERE is strong speculation that an announcement about a successor to Bishop John Buckley as Bishop of Cork and Ross is imminent.
It is understood that the Papal Nuncio will make the announcement at a Mass in the city tomorrow morning.
Bishop Buckley, 79, has been serving the diocese for more than 20 years. He submitted a letter of resignation to the Pope in 2014, having reached the age at which serving diocesan bishops are required to do so by Church law, but was happy to remain in the role until such time as a replacement was named.
The bishop, originally from Inchigeela, was ordained in 1965 and taught at St Finbarr’s College, Farranferris, until he became the college president in 1975. He worked for a year as parish priest of Turner’s Cross Parish in Cork City before he was ordained Titular Bishop of Leptis Magna and Auxiliary Bishop of Cork and Ross in 1984.
He became the diocesan administrator following the death of Bishop Michael Murphy in October 1996 and was appointed as the third bishop of the 1958-formed Diocese of Cork and Ross in December 1997.
There is great affection in the city and across the diocese for Bishop Buckley, who is known for his frequent hospital visits.
He is also passionate about sport and the important role it can play in the lives of young people, and is a well-known road bowling fan.
At Christmas, he praised the community spirit in Cork in an interview with The Echo, saying: “There is a saint on every street.”