Port Pirie Bishop Gregory O’Kelly SJ has been named the Apostolic Administrator of the Archdiocese of Adelaide.
The new appointment was made by Pope Francis on Sunday 3 June.
Bishop O’Kelly has a long association to the Adelaide Archdiocese, after serving there as a priest and later as Auxiliary Bishop from 2006 to 2009.
The Australian Catholic Bishops Conference (ACBC) on Monday released a statement acknowledging the Holy Father’s pastoral concern for the Adelaide Archdiocese, as well as Bishop O’Kelly’s generosity in accepting the appointment.
“[Bishop O’Kelly] is well known in the Archdiocese of Adelaide and is well qualified for the role entrusted to him,” the statement noted.
As Apostolic Administrator, Bishop O’Kelly assumes administrative and executive authority of the Archdiocese until any future decision of the Pope, to whom an Apostolic Administrator is directly answerable.
In his statement, Bishop O’Kelly thanked Pope Francis and vowed to do his best to fulfil the important role, while continuing to serve the people of the Port Pirie Diocese.
“The Pope’s intention is to provide stability for the people of the Archdiocese during these challenging times.
“The task of an Apostolic Administrator is to exercise episcopal authority in a diocese until such time as the Holy Father changes the arrangement,” he said.
Bishop O’Kelly confirmed that Archbishop Wilson will remain as the Archbishop of Adelaide, however he will exercise episcopal responsibilities in the Archdiocese.
“This appointment does not affect my present position; I remain Bishop of the Diocese of Port Pirie.
“There is an excellent group of Church officials presently serving the Archdiocese and the day-to-day administration will continue to be carried out by those to whom I, as Apostolic Administrator, delegate that authority,” Bishop O’Kelly explained.
“I will do my best to serve the faithful of both the Diocese and the Archdiocese for as long as is necessary.
“Your prayers for all concerned would be gratefully received.”