Bishop John F. Kinney announced over the weekend he intends to retire from his position as the Catholic spiritual leader of the Diocese of St. Cloud.

The 75-year-old Kinney’s retirement is not surprising because bishops his age are “required by church law to submit their resignation to the pope,” the St. Cloud Times reports. It could take up to eight months to replace him.

“The process for selecting candidates for the episcopacy normally begins at the diocesan level and works its way through a series of consultations until it reaches Rome,” the newspaper reports.

“He’s not moving out at any point soon,” said Rebecca Kurowski, director of communications for the Diocese of St. Cloud. “We would be shocked if, three months from now, they said, ‘OK, here’s the new guy."

“It is a process bound by strict confidentiality and involves a number of important players – the most influential being the apostolic nuncio, the Congregation for Bishops, and the pope.

“They will not be accepting his resignation until they have someone lined up to take his spot,” Kurowski said.”

Kinney, who was ordained an auxiliary bishop of St. Paul and Minneapolis in 1977, also served as bishop of Bismarck, N.D., from 1982 to 1995 before his appointment to St. Cloud, the newspaper reports. The St. Cloud diocese includes 132 parishes with a Catholic population of 140,000.