On 1 May, Felipe Arizmendi Esquivel, the bishop of the San Cristóbal de Las Casas diocese, reported that he has sent in his letter of resignation to Pope Francis, now that he has reached 75 years of age.
During the homily of the mass he celebrated on his birthday, the bishop announced that the Apostolic Nuncio in Mexico, Christope Pierre, has told him that “Rome has indicated its desire for me to continue at this pastoral ministry, but it has not specified how long this extension would be. We leave this up to divine providence.”
The bishop added that he has “no problem with accepting this request that is made of me,” insofar as “God, by means of the Pope, does not tell me to stop my service in this diocese, we will continue working together toward the consolidation of the Church’s project, which was well-expressed in the Third Diocene Synod: following the example of the beloved Tatik Samuel Ruiz García, we must be oppositional, liberatory, evangelizing, communal, and service-oriented, under the guidance of the holy spirit.”
Since 15 May 2014, the Pope had accepted the bishop’s proposal to designate Monseñor Enrique Díaz Díaz as a joint bishop, such that he will be next in the succession. Felipe Arizmendi expressed that his desire is to return to his original diocese, Toluca, once his resignation has in fact been accepted.
For more information (in Spanish):
Obispo Felipe Arizmendi presenta su renuncia al Papa (la Jornada, 1ero de mayo de 2015)
Obispo Felipe Arizmendi envía renuncia al papa (El Universal, 1ero de mayo de 2015)
Obispo de San Cristóbal anuncia su retiro (Proceso, 1ero de mayo de 2015)