Bishop of Motherwell Joseph Devine to step down

image captionBishop Joseph Devine's office will be initially handed to an administrator

The Roman Catholic Church has announced that the Bishop of Motherwell, Joseph Devine, is standing down.

Bishop Devine had initially tendered his resignation on his 75th birthday last August but was told to continue in office until a successor was found.

The Diocese of Motherwell said he would be replaced with an administrator.

His resignation follows the dismissal of Cardinal Keith O'Brien as Archbishop of St Andrews and Edinburgh after he admitted improper sexual conduct.

Gerry O'Brien, a spokesman for Bishop Devine said "this does not relate in any way, shape or form" to criticism of the way the bishop had handled allegations of sexual abuse within the church.

Bishop Devine is understood to be in ill-health.

The Vatican said they had no comment to make.

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