75-YEAR-OLD BISHOP QUITS POST, JOINS MONASTERY
The bishop of Ascoli Piceno in Marche, Giovanni D'Ercole, has resigned to join a monastery at the age of 75 and then become a missionary in Africa, the Italian news agency ANSA reported.
Msgr D'Ercole said he had sent his resignation letter to Pope Francis on October 13 and it had been accepted. He said it was a "difficult choice, tough but deeply free, inspired by service to the Church and not to my personal interest."
He said "I'm entering a monastery where I will be able to accompany the path of the Church in a more intense way, in meditation, in contemplation and in silence. When I have completed this period in the monastery then I will open myself to all the prospects that the Lord will want to give me."
D'Ercole said he planned to "return to the origins of my priesthood, in Africa, among the 'poorest of the poor,' as St Teresa of Calcutta would say.” The former bishop has worked tirelessly with locals hit by a deadly and devastating earthquake in 2016 and by those most affected by the COVID pandemic.