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Joseph Delaney, 70, Fort Worth bishop for quarter century

FORT WORTH -- Bishop Joseph Delaney, leader of more than 400,000 Roman Catholics in the Fort Worth Diocese, has died. He was 70.

Bishop Delaney, who had been bishop of the north central Texas diocese since 1981, was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in 2003 but had said the cancer was in remission.

Bishop Delaney's housekeeper discovered his body Tuesday morning, said the Rev. Robert Wilson, chancellor of the diocese.

Wilson said Bishop Delaney had hoped to get his strength back but ''was never able to get back out to the parishes."

''He was good to his people, good to his priests, good to his staff," Wilson told the Fort Worth Star-Telegram for its Tuesday online edition.

Monsignor Kevin Vann, named by the Vatican in May as coadjutor bishop to succeed Bishop Delaney upon his death or retirement, had been scheduled to be installed Wednesday.

Vann was ordained as Fort Worth bishop instead on that day, Wilson said.

''I think I learned from him how to take it easy, how to be calm, how to really listen and consult and have confidence in the Holy Spirit and the power of God," Vann said Tuesday.

Bishop Charles V. Grahmann of the Dallas Diocese called Bishop Delaney a ''very perceptive person, open always to new ways of ministry. Lay ministry and preparation for that ministry were important to him."

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