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Pope accepts resignation of once-embattled Cleveland bishop


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VATICAN CITY (AP) — Pope Francis has accepted the resignation of Cleveland's bishop, who, in 2012, was overruled by the Vatican in his bid to close parishes.

The Vatican's announcement Wednesday about Bishop Richard Lennon's resignation didn't indicate when a successor would be named.

Lennon, 69, is six years younger than the age when bishops must offer to resign. He underwent a heart procedure earlier this year.

The Vatican's rebuff of his plans to shut 12 parishes was a rare instance when Rome reversed a U.S. bishop on such closures. Parishioners had challenged closures, holding sit-ins and even creating a breakaway congregation.

Lennon, Cleveland's bishop since 2006, ordered the closings because of dwindling numbers of priests and parishioners and financial issues. The Vatican ruled he didn't follow church law and procedures in the closings.

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