BISHOP John Crowley, currently auxiliary bishop in Westminster and chairman of CAFOD, is to he the new bishop of Middlesbrough.
Pope John Paul II has chosen Bishop Crowley to take over from Bishop Augustine Harris, who announced his resignation earlier this year at the statutory age of 75. Bishop Crowley, at 51 still one of the younger members of the hierarchy in England, admitted he was "surprised" at the invitation. He said he was looking forward to a change from his present responsibilities In inner London to taking on his new diocese with its wide variety of urban and rural areas.
John Crowley was ordained in 1965 and was consecrated a bishop six years ago by Cardinal Hume. "My feelings are very much let me go there with an open mind and open heart, and we'll see what happens," he said.
His experience of the diocese includes the many parish missions he led when part of the Catholic Missionary Society between 1968 -75. More recently, he led a priests' retreat at Ampleforth in the diocese last year.
He was quick to praise Bishop Harris: "I am aware of following a distinguished predecessor," he said.