Cardinal Telopspore P Toppo resigns as Ranchi Archbishop
Ranchi, June 24: Cardinal Telopspore P Toppo on Sunday resigned as the Archbishop of Ranchi.
While a church source said that he was miffed over gang-rape of five tribal girls in which a priest was arrested, Catholic Bishops Conference of India General Secretary Theodore Mascarenhas, in a press conference the Archbishop House here, said the Cardinal, who is now 87, had submitted his resignation to Pope Francis couple of years ago but it had been rejected and he had been given an extension.
However with the changing circumstances, specially with Cardinal Toppo’s declining health, the Pope has finally accepted his resignation as appointed Bishop Felix Toppo of Jamshedpur to replace him as Archbishop.
Speaking on the occasion, Cardinal Toppo said: “34 years of functioning as the archbishop is a result of dedication towards good and the cooperation of the people”.
He also cited his bad health condition as responsible for his resignation.
A meeting would be held on June 28 to finalise the date for installation ceremony of Bishop Felix Toppo as the Bishop, Catholic Bishops Conference of India (CBCI) Secretary General Bishop Theodore Mascarnerenhas told a press conference here.
Archbishop-elect Felix Toppo was born in Gumla on November 21, 1947. He was ordained a priest on April 14, 1982. He obtained Masters degree in Psychology from Gregorian University, Rome, in 1990, the release said.
After serving the Jesuit Congregation in various capacities director of Pre-Novices, Novice Master and Superior, he was elected Bishop of Jamshedpur on June 14, 1997 and was consecrated on September 27, 1997.
As Bishop, he was the chairman of CBCI office for Clergy and Religious for four years and National Vocation Service Centre in Pune for four years.
Currently, he is the governing body chairman of the CBCI Society for Medical Education, North India; chairman of JHAAN Regional Bishops Council and of two regional commissions; and vice chancellor of St Alberts College in Ranchi, the release said.
Cardinal Toppo, who has been the Ranchi Archbishop for the past 35 years, thanked all sections of the society for their love and support.
Without their support and love, I would never have been able to do anything. Our mutual bonding is everlasting, the Cardinal said.