Pope accepts resignation of Ukrainian Catholic archbishop of Philadelphia

WASHINGTON — Pope Francis has accepted the resignation of Archbishop Stefan Soroka of the Ukrainian Catholic Archeparchy of Philadelphia and has appointed Auxiliary Bishop Andriy Rabiy of the same archeparchy to be apostolic administrator.

Archbishop Soroka, 66, is resigning for medical reasons. Under church law a bishop is expected to submit his resignation to the pope at age 75. His resignation was accepted in accord with Canon 210 of the Code of Canons of the Eastern Churches, which allows a bishop to resign before age 75 “due to ill health or to another serious reason.”

The resignation and appointment were announced in Washington April 16 by Archbishop Christophe Pierre, apostolic nuncio to the United States.

Ukrainian-born Bishop Rabiy was named an auxiliary bishop for the archeparchy last August and his episcopal ordination took place in his native Lviv last September. He will remain apostolic administrator until a successor to Archbishop Soroka is appointed.

Archbishop Soroka was installed as head of the Philadelphia archeparchy Feb. 29, 2001.