Bishop Paul Martin of Christchurch has been appointed coadjutor Archbishop of Wellington in New Zealand.
The Wellington archdiocese has been headed by Cardinal John Dew since 2005. Martin will succeed Dew, currently 72, when he retires. Bishops are required to submit their resignation to the pope when they turn 75.
Dew said he welcomed Martin’s appointment.
“He is well known to clergy and many people of the diocese, and will be warmly welcomed by all,” the cardinal said. “I am fully confident that he will lead the diocese into the future with new vision and energy.”
Martin said the appointment was “a surprise.”
“I will be sorry to leave the diocese of Christchurch and the work we have been doing. However, it is a privilege to take up this role in the Church of Wellington and I look forward to being with the people in the Archdiocese again,” he said.
Martin was appointed Bishop of Christchurch in December 2017 and consecrated the following March. He continues as Apostolic Administrator of the diocese until his successor is appointed.
Wellington is the capital of New Zealand and serves as the metropolitan archdiocese for the entire country, which has five other dioceses.
The archdiocese has over 82,000 Catholics, about 10 percent of the total population.