(INDIANAPOLIS) - Indianapolis Archbishop Daniel Buechlein has retired after 19 years in that post, and 47 years in the priesthood.
Buechlein had come through a bout with Hodgkin's lymphoma in 2008, but says a stroke six months ago proved to be too much.
He says he underwent months of "ruthless physical therapy" trying to gain enough strength to carry out his duties. But he says he still can't keep his balance when he stands up, and asked Pope Benedict XVI to grant him early retirement.
The Vatican formally announced Buechlein's retirement Wednesday morning. Bishop Christopher Coyne, whom the Pope had appointed as an auxiliary bishop to help Buechlein earlier this year, will run the Archdiocese as an "apostolic administrator" until a permanent archbishop is appointed.
Coyne says consultations with Indiana's other bishops and others in the region have begun, but says the process may take longer than normal because of the death in July of Pietro Sambi, the Vatican's point man in the U.S..
The Indianapolis Archdiocese covers 151 parishes in 39 counties in central and southern Indiana.
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