.- The Diocese of Joliet announced Friday that Bishop Daniel Conlon will take a medical leave of absence from leadership of the Illinois diocese.
During Conlon’s absence, “Bishop Richard E. Pates, Bishop Emeritus of Des Moines, will serve as Apostolic Administrator of the diocese,” the diocese said in a Dec. 27 statement. “Bishop Conlon expresses his deep affection for the clergy, religious and laity of the Diocese of Joliet and will keep them in his prayers during his time away. He also asks for their prayers,” the statement added.
The diocese did not say what health problems Conlon is facing.
Conlon, 71, has been Joliet’s bishop since 2011. From 2002 until 2011 he was Bishop of Steubenville, and before that a priest in the Archdiocese of Steubenville.
The Joliet diocese, which is home to 618,855 Catholics, will be led by retired Bishop Richard Pates of Des Moines, Iowa, during Conlon’s absence.
“I applaud Bishop R. Daniel Conlon for undertaking a program to address his health concerns. He is a good bishop and will benefit from his time away,” Pates said in a statement.
“As I begin services as Apostolic Administrator of the Diocese of Joliet, I welcome the opportunity to journey with the priests, deacons, religious and laity of this local Church. The diocesan community enjoys an outstanding reputation and I feel privileged to participate in your life.”
“We, the Catholic Church, dedicate ourselves anew to the lifegiving message of Jesus Christ as we embrace a new year and a new decade. May we humbly experience ‘the Joy of the Gospel’ in the spirit of our beloved Holy Father, Pope Francis,” Pates added.
The announcement comes two weeks after Bishop James Conley of Lincoln announced that he would be taking a medical leave of absence, explaining that he had been “medically diagnosed with depression and anxiety, along with chronic insomnia and debilitating tinnitus, which is a constant ringing of the ears.”
The Joliet diocese gave no indication when Conlon is expected to return.