Tom Burns (bishop)

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Thomas Matthew Burns

Bishop emeritus of Menevia
Bishop Burns in 2013
Province Cardiff
Diocese Menevia
Appointed16 October 2008
Installed1 December 2008
Term ended11 July 2019
Predecessor John Mark Jabalé
Successor Mark O'Toole
Ordination16 December 1971
Consecration18 June 2002
by  Cormac Murphy-O'Connor
Personal details
Thomas Matthew Burns

(1944-06-03) 3 June 1944 (age 78)
Nationality Irish
Denomination Roman Catholic
Previous post(s) Bishop of the Forces

Thomas Matthew Burns SM KC*HS (born 3 June 1944) is a British Roman Catholic bishop. On 16 October 2008, he was appointed as Bishop of Menevia by Pope Benedict XVI, becoming so on 1 December 2008 when he took possession of his new see, on which day he ceased to be Bishop of the Forces. [1] He is now bishop promoter for the Apostleship of the Sea, A Catholic organisation that provides pastoral and practical assistance to all seafarers. It was announced in July 2019 that Burns had retired from the role of Bishop of Menevia after 11 years.


Life and ministry

Tom Burns was born in Belfast, [1] but his family later moved to Lancashire. After studying at St. Mary's College, Blackburn, a sixth form in an Exeter school and a monastery in Paignton, Burns was ordained to the priesthood on 16 December 1971 for the Society of Mary. [1] [2]

On 24 May 2002, he was appointed to head the military ordinariate of Great Britain, the Bishopric of the Forces. He received his episcopal consecration on the following 18 June from Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O'Connor, with Bishop Francis Walmsley and Archbishop Patrick Altham Kelly serving as co-consecrators. [2]

Burns has been a vociferous critic of the UK Ministry of Defence, complaining that troops in Iraq were "frustrated by restrictions, checks and delays that are placed on them but not on their opponents", and that their "activities are often jeopardised by poor equipment, outmoded vehicles and inadequate apparel". [3]

The church closure in Aberystwyth has been criticised. [4] [5]

On 11 July 2019, Pope Francis accepted Burns's resignation after he reached the age of 75. A farewell and thanksgiving Mass was held on 23 July 2019 to mark the beginning of his retirement.

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  1. 1 2 3 "Bishop Thomas Matthew Burns". . David M. Cheney. Retrieved 11 December 2011.
  2. 1 2 "The Right Reverend Thomas Matthew Burns". The Diocese of Menevia. Archived from the original on 3 September 2011. Retrieved 11 December 2011.
  3. The Independent news story Archived 27 February 2007 at the Wayback Machine
  4. Madoc Cairns, Historic church in Aberystwyth placed on market, The Tablet , 24 August 2020, retrieved 14 June 2022
  5. When churches close: the day of reckoning for St Winefride’s, Cambrian News , 28 January 2018, retrieved 14 June 2022
Catholic Church titles
Preceded by Bishop of the Forces
Succeeded by
Preceded by Bishop of Menevia
Succeeded by