Home National News Birmingham Bishop Robert Baker retires; Pope Francis names Bishop Steven Ralca of...

Birmingham Bishop Robert Baker retires; Pope Francis names Bishop Steven Ralca of Michigan as successor

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Diocese of birmingham
Bishop Robert J. Baker of Birmingham, Ala. and other U.S. bishops from the southeast concelebrate Mass in the crypt of St. Peter's Basilica at the Vatican Dec. 5, 2019. Pope Francis accepted his resignation March 25, 2020, and has named Bishop Steven J. Raica of Gaylord, Mich., his successor. (CNS photo/Paul Haring)

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WASHINGTONPope Francis has accepted the resignation of Bishop Robert J. Baker of the Diocese of Birmingham, Alabama, and has named as his successor Bishop Steven J. Raica of Gaylord, Michigan.

Bishop Baker turned 75 on June 4, the age at which canon law requires bishops to turn in their resignation to the pope. He has headed the Birmingham Diocese since 2007. Bishop Raica, 67, was named bishop of Gaylord in 2014.

The Diocese of Birmingham covers about 29,000 square miles in the state of Alabama, and has a Catholic population of nearly 105,000 out of a total population of over 3 million.