Pope Francis Accepts Resignation of 70-Year-Old Catholic Bishop in South Africa

Bishop Peter Holiday. Credit: SACBC

Pope Francis has accepted the resignation of Bishop Peter John Holiday of the Catholic Diocese of Kroonstad in South Africa.

The acceptance of the resignation of the 70-year-old Catholic Bishop who started his Episcopal Ministry in Kroonstad Diocese in June 2011 was published by the Holy See Press office on Monday, December 12 and announced by members of the Southern African Catholic Bishops’ Conference (SACBC).

Bishops are required to submit their respective letters of retirement at the age of 75. Compelling reasons such as “ill-health or other grave problems” are given as justifications for Bishops’ request to resign before their mandatory age.

The Holy See Press Office report does not give reasons for the resignation of Bishop Holiday. However, a statement from the leadership of the Catholic Diocese of Kroonstad says the Holy Father accepted the resignation of the Bishop “following his sudden illness”.

“Following his sudden illness, Bishop Emeritus Peter Holiday resigned from this office as the Bishop of the Diocese of Kroonstad. Pope Francis accepted his resignation on Monday 12th December 2022,” the Chancellor of the South African Diocese, Fr. Michael Rasello, says.


“We are grateful for the time we have spent with him as the shepherd in the Diocese of Kroonstad,” Fr. Rasello further says, and adds, “We wish Bishop Holiday a good health and we continue to keep him in prayer.”

In an earlier statement, Fr. Rasello announced that Bishop Holiday “is not well at the moment” and that he was in Pretoria “under the care of the doctors there”.

“He is being treated for an infection at present and is receiving the best care possible,” the Chancellor of Kroonstad added in the statement dated October 21. 

In another statement issued November 24, the Chancellor of the South African Diocese urged the people of God to pray for their Local Ordinary who was gradually regaining his strength.

Bishop Holiday was ordained a Priest for the Archdiocese of Johannesburg in December 1992.

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As a Priest, he served in various capacities, including Assistant Parish Priest, Parish Priest, Administrator of Christ the King Cathedral; and Archdiocesan Director for the Lenten Appeal and assistant for vocations.

He was apprenticed as a printer, obtaining in 1973 a Trade diploma in Letterpress Machine handling. He worked in this industry for 13 years. 

As a Bishop, he has been vocal in addressing issues affecting the South African society.

In June 2021, Bishop Holiday urged Catholics to strictly adhere to COVID-19 preventive measures amid a surge in infections in South Africa, especially in the territory covered by his Episcopal See. 

In June this year, Bishop Holiday encouraged young people to foster the virtue of bravery.


In an interview with ACI Africa following the official establishment of the Migrants and Refugees Office in his Episcopal See, Bishop Holiday said that caring for migrants and refugees makes Christians “a community of faith”.

“We must be active and put our Catholic faith and the word of God into action,” Bishop Holiday told ACI Africa during the August 10 interview.

The South African Bishop added, “If we do that in the context of migrants and refugees, we will truly be a community of faith that opens their hearts in welcoming migrants and refugees in our Diocese. The Church, the Christian Catholic community of Kroonstad Diocese cannot sit back and do nothing.”

Jude Atemanke is a Cameroonian journalist with a passion for Catholic Church communication. He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Journalism and Mass Communication from the University of Buea in Cameroon. Currently, Jude serves as a journalist for ACI Africa.