The fourth Florida diocese to come open within the past year, according to the first-draft of the succession plans, the Sunshine State's metropolitan -- Archbishop Tom Wenski of Miami -- was to serve as apostolic administrator during the interregnum.
With the Panhandle vacancy, six Stateside Latin churches now stand vacant, with another nine led by prelates serving past the retirement age of 75.
SVILUPPO: Wenski will lead a mid-morning press conference today, with Ricard likewise slated to speak.
After 15 years at the helm of the Pensacola church, farewell receptions for the 70 year-old Josephite were already scheduled to take place this weekend.
PHOTO: Cathedral of the Sacred Heart, Pensacola FL