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Bishop Morin will retire, but the Vatican must weigh in

PHOTO COURTESY BILOXI CATHOLIC DIOCESE 
 Pope Benedict XVI greets Bishop Roger P. Morin of Biloxi during a January 2012 meeting with U.S. bishops on their 'ad limina' visits to the Vatican.
PHOTO COURTESY BILOXI CATHOLIC DIOCESE Pope Benedict XVI greets Bishop Roger P. Morin of Biloxi during a January 2012 meeting with U.S. bishops on their 'ad limina' visits to the Vatican. CNS photo/L'Osservatore Romano via Catholic Press Photo

This year, Bishop Roger Morin's birthday won't be just another birthday.

Morin, who turns 75 years old March 7, will submit his letter of resignation as bishop of Biloxi on that day. It's a requirement of the Roman Catholic Church for bishops to offer their resignation letter -- in essence, retirement -- on their 75th birthday, said Terry Dickson, director of communications for the Diocese of Biloxi.

"There's no timetable on how long it will take the Vatican to accept the letter," Dickson said. "Until it does, he will continue to be the bishop.

"To give you an idea, the bishop of Memphis turned 75 in May and the Vatican still has not accepted the letter.

"It could be around nine months to a year."

Morin, a native of Lowell, Mass., has been bishop since March 2009, after Bishop Thomas Rodi was promoted to Archbishop of Mobile in April 2008.

This landmark birthday will be celebrated, Dickson said.

"On March 6, he will celebrate Mass at the Cathedral (of the Blessed Virgin Mary in Biloxi) at 11 a.m., and a reception will be held for him after the Mass. Parishoners are all invited," Dickson said.

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