Four bishops soon to retire, the composition of the Belgian episcopal conference will change

The composition of the Belgian episcopal conference will soon change: four bishops will reach the age of 75 by the summer of 2023 and will have to be replaced.

The bishops who will soon reach retirement age are Bishop Jean-Luc Hudsyn, Auxiliary Bishop for Walloon Brabant (January 26, 2022); Cardinal Jozef De Kesel, Archbishop of Mechelen-Brussels (June 17, 2022); Bishop Guy Harpigny, Bishop of Tournai (April 13, 2023); as well as Mgr Pierre Warin, Bishop of Namur (June 15, 2023).

It is customary for bishops to offer their resignation to the pope on the occasion of their 75th birthday. It is, however, common for the pontiff to not immediately appoint a successor and ask them to stay in office longer in order to ensure continuity.

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In anticipation, the new Apostolic Nuncio for Belgium and Luxembourg, Italian Archbishop Franco Coppola, arrived in Brussels on Sunday. After investigation, he will propose to the pope a list with three names of possible candidates for each bishopric.

In Belgium, the episcopal conference has 12 bishops. Bishop Coppola will soon be called upon to present his credentials to King Philip.

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