(Lincoln, Neb.) Dec. 13, 2019 — The Diocese of Lincoln announced Dec. 13 that Bishop James Conley will take a medical leave of absence, effective immediately.
Due to serious medical issues, Bishop Conley formally requested a temporary leave of absence from Pope Francis, and the request was accepted.
Pope Francis has appointed Archbishop George Lucas, Archbishop of Omaha, to serve as apostolic administrator during Bishop Conley’s temporary leave of absence.
In a letter to the faithful of the Diocese of Lincoln (below), Bishop Conley announced that he has been medically diagnosed with depression and anxiety, along with insomnia and tinnitus.
“My doctors have directed me to take a leave of absence for medical and psychological treatment, and to get some much-needed rest. After prayer, and seeking the counsel of my spiritual director, my brother bishops, and my family, I have accepted the medical necessity of a temporary leave of absence,” Bishop Conley wrote.
The bishop announced his plans to “undergo the best psychological and medical treatment available to me,” before returning to his ministry as diocesan bishop.
Archbishop Lucas said Friday: “I offer my full support to Bishop Conley as he steps away from the Diocese of Lincoln to focus on his personal health and well-being. As a brother bishop, I know the demands of being a diocesan pastor; as a friend, I want Bishop Conley to avail himself of the time and the setting that will help him to return to full health and strength. I look forward to welcoming him back when he is ready to return.”
“In the meantime, I am eager to work with the priests and lay faithful of the Diocese of Lincoln, to further the mission of Jesus Christ in the parishes, schools and apostolates of the diocese. I know that all will join me in praying for health and peace for Bishop Conley,” Lucas added.
During his leave of absence, Bishop Conley has requested privacy. Prayers and letters can be conveyed to the bishop via:
Bishop James D. Conley
Diocese of Lincoln
3400 Sheridan Blvd
Lincoln, NE 68506-6125