Pope Benedict XVI has announced that Monsignor Richard Moth, currently Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Southwark, England, will be the next Catholic Bishop of the British Forces.
Richard Moth served for five years as a Territorial Army chaplain attached to 217 General Hospital RAMC (V). Bishop-elect Richard will be ordained bishop on Tuesday 29 September 2009.
The Administrator of the Bishopric of the Forces, Monsignor John Walsh said: We are delighted at the news that Monsignor Richard is to become our next bishop. On behalf of clergy, servicemen and women and their families, I bid him welcome. We are looking forward to his leadership and to working with him in the years to come. He has our congratulations, our very best wishes and most of all, our prayers.
Bishop Tom Burns, Bishop of Menevia who was the previous Bishop of the Forces said: This is great news for the Bishopric. I wish Bishop-elect Richard every happiness as he takes on my former role. He is very experienced and his service as a Territorial Army chaplain will give him a good idea of what lies ahead. He has my best wishes and prayers.
The Bishopric of the Forces is a diocese without geographical boundaries, consisting of Service personnel and their dependants, served by over 40 full-time Catholic Chaplains and a number of TA and Officiating Chaplains. The Chaplains are drawn from dioceses in England and Wales, Scotland, Ireland and Gibraltar and from religious orders. They are seconded to the Bishopric during their military service.
Chaplains are currently serving in the UK including Northern Ireland, Germany, Cyprus as well as Afghanistan and Iraq. Chaplains are also serving at sea with the Royal Navy.
In addition to his responsibility for service chaplaincy, the Bishop-elect will also become Apostolic Visitor for the Prefecture of the Falkland Islands, which also includes St Helena, Tristan da Cunha, Ascension Island, and South Georgia.