December 15, 1996 in Nation/World

Bishop Who Shunned Hunger-Striker Dies

Associated Press

The Most Rev. Gerald Moverley, a Roman Catholic bishop who refused to celebrate Mass for a dying Irish Republican Army hunger-striker, died Saturday. He was 74.

Moverley, who had resigned five months ago citing ill health, died at his home in Sheffield, central England, the church announced. He was bishop of nearby Hallam.

He gained national attention in 1976 when, as auxiliary bishop of Leeds, he refused a sickroom Mass to an Irish Republican Army hunger-striker.

Frank Stagg, 34, an inmate at Wakefield jail, was more than 50 days into his fast when he asked for the service in the prison hospital. Moverley said there was “no pastoral necessity” and refused. Stagg died 10 days later.

A requiem Mass was scheduled for Moverley for Dec. 21.

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