A third recurrence of leukemia has forced Youngstown Bishop George V. Murry, SJ to submit his resignation to Pope Francis. The Catholic Diocese of Youngstown made the announcement on May 26.
Bishop Murray, 71, has led the diocese since 2007. The normal retirement age for bishops is 75.
He was diagnosed in April 2018 with a form of acute leukemia and was admitted to the Cleveland Clinic for intensive chemotherapy. When he was released in late May 2018, doctors said his leukemia was in remission, but he needed regular follow-up visits.
“In July of 2019, he reentered the Cleveland Clinic for a reoccurrence of leukemia. At that time, tests confirmed that he was in remission and that doctors were not recommending a bone marrow transplant,” the Diocese of Youngstown said in a statement this week.
However, in April, the leukemia again returned and he resumed treatment. Diocesan officials said as a result of this third bout of leukemia, Bishop Murry’s current state of health leaves him unable to fulfill his duties as shepherd of the diocese.
After his initial diagnosis, Bishop Murray stepped down from the chairmanship of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops’ newly formed Ad Hoc Committee Against Racism and chairmanship of the USCCB Committee on Catholic Education.
A native of Camden, New Jersey, Bishop Murray entered the Jesuits in 1972 and was ordained in 1979. He has a Master of Divinity degree from the Jesuit School of Theology at Berkley, California, and a doctorate in American Cultural History from George Washington University in Washington, D.C.
Before he was appointed bishop of Youngstown, he was a high school administrator at two Washington, D.C. schools. Bishop Murray also was a professor of American studies at Georgetown University and associate vice president for academic affairs at the University of Detroit-Mercy.
He was appointed auxiliary bishop of Chicago in 1995 by Pope John Paul II. In 1998, he was appointed coadjutor bishop of St. Thomas in the Virgin Islands. He served in that position until June 30, 1999, when he became bishop of the diocese, and remained there until Pope Francis named him bishop of Youngstown in 2007.
Along with the other Catholic bishops in Ohio, Bishop Murry also is a member of the Catholic Conference of Ohio