'I am overwhelmed at the trust which the Holy Father has placed in me,' says bishop-elect.
Monsignor Marcus Stock has been appointed the new Bishop of Leeds by Pope Francis.
The bishop-elect is the outgoing general secretary of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference for England and Wales and will be the 10th Bishop of Leeds.
He was ordained priest in 1988 and served as parish priest across the Birmingham Archdiocese, most recently at the parish of the Sacred Heart and St Theresa in Coleshill. He also served as director of the Diocesan Schools’ Commission and since 2009 he has been general secretary of the Bishops’ Conference.
Mgr John Wilson has been diocesan administrator since former Bishop of Leeds, Archbishop Arthur Roche, left for Rome in 2012 to take up the position of secretary of the Congregation for the Divine Worship and the Sacraments in the Curia of the Holy See.
“I am overwhelmed at the trust which the Holy Father has placed in me. I have written to the Holy Father and assured him, as the Successor of St Peter and Supreme Pontiff of the Catholic Church, of my loyal and filial love, and of my intention to give myself entirely to the service of the Diocese of Leeds,” said Mgr Marcus Stock.
“I am only too conscious of my weaknesses and sinfulness. It is therefore with humility and the desire to obey the call to serve, in whatever way the Church asks of me, that I have accepted this appointment. Before all else therefore, I ask for your prayers for me. Throughout my ministry as a priest, I have been sustained in grace by the prayers of the parishioners and religious that I have been privileged to serve and by the prayers of my brother clergy in the Archdiocese of Birmingham. This is the first thing for which I hope; to be assured of your prayers. And from now on, I assure you, for my part you will be in the first thoughts of my prayers each day.
“The second thing for which I hope is to be able to express as strongly as I can, my thanks. Thanks to my predecessors, Archbishop Arthur Roche and Bishop David Konstant, on whose firm legacy I can only hope to build; and, my thanks to Mgr John Wilson, the Chapter of Canons and all the clergy and lay people who have given untiring and generous service in leading and caring for the Diocese of Leeds over the past two years. I know that I will need to listen carefully to their wise counsel and advice both before and after my ordination as bishop.
“The third thing for which I hope is for your patience and support. I am sure that my name will be quite unknown to the vast majority of the clergy, religious and lay people of the diocese. Consequently, I hope that you will be patient with me as I get to know the clergy, religious, parishes, schools and the whole area of the Diocese of Leeds. I pray too, that you will support me not only by your prayers but also by your collaboration in the important work of evangelisation, to which all those who have received the Sacraments of Baptism and Confirmation are called; and, in making known to all those people who touch our lives, the infinite mercy of Our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.”
Cardinal Vincent Nichols welcomed the appointment, describing the bishop-elect as “a fine man”.
“He will bring his many abilities to his new calling. They are well known and widely appreciated. Most importantly of all, he brings his deep love of the Lord and His Church, the true source of his dedication, sensitivity, generosity and stability,” Cardinal Nichols said.
“I welcome wholeheartedly this decision of Pope Francis and I assure Mgr Marcus of my full support and prayers as he prepares for this next step in his vocation of service in the Church.”
The date of Bishop-elect Stock’s Episcopal Ordination will be announced shortly.