AWEEK or two ago I wrote about the Pope's suggestion that bishops should consider retiring at 75 and the effect this would have on the English and Scottish hierarchies. Several people have since written to ask: "What about Ireland?" Good question, so here are the facts and figures. Ireland has 26 bishops and six of these are over 75. Six more are in their seventies. four in their sixties. nine in their fifties. but only one has not reached his half century compared to three in England. Ireland can claim the youngest bishop in the British Isles, but only just. His is Bishop Russell of Waterford who is 46, and was born in December 1920, eleven months after our own Bishop Worlocl of Portsmouth. And back to England for the oldest bishop. Westminster's auxiliary. Bishop Craven, who at 82 claims a narrow lead from Bishop Keogh of Kildare and Leighlin, who is four months younger.
But. on average, Scotland still comes out best with an average bishop-age of 60.