The Vatican is currently in the process of appointing the next bishop of the Diocese of Orihuela-Alicante after receiving a letter of resignation from Jesús Murgui upon reaching the mandatory retirement age.
This is a routine procedure that is followed when bishops turn 75 years of age, the age limit imposed on all prelates according to canon law.
It is understood that Murgui sent a letter to Pope Francis with his resignation some weeks ago, a protocol that is completely normal and which is not related to the controversies in which he has recently been involved, like his coronavirus vaccination before he was due, or his decision to relieve the Diocesan treasurer, Francisco Martínez, who is being investigated for the collection of commission on the sale of Church land, in addition to the latter’s denial of the pandemic.
Now the usual procedure will be followed, which is to wait until the Vatican accepts the resignation and the Pope appoints a new bishop for the Diocese, which can take months.
In fact, Murgui’s appointment in 2012 came almost 18 months after the death of Rafael Palmero, former bishop of Orihuela-Alicante.
In addition, after the new appointment is confirmed, it usually takes several before the new Bishop is able to take the reins of the diocese. Until that time, Murgui has no intention of leaving his office, according to the bishopric.