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Pope lets ailing Florida bishop retire

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The Associated Press
Friday, March 11, 2011; 7:32 AM

VATICAN CITY -- The Vatican says that Pope Benedict XVI has accepted the request by an ailing Florida bishop to retire.

Last month, Bishop John Ricard asked to resign from his duties as head of the Pensacola-Tallahassee diocese for health reasons. Ricard suffered a stroke in 2009 and has undergone several surgeries after that.

The 71-year-old Ricard is younger than the normal retirement age for bishops of 75. The pope accepted the request Friday.

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