RALEIGH (WTVD) --Diocese of Raleigh Bishop Michael Burbidge was very honest Thursday about his feelings on being appointed by Pope Francis this week to serve as the Bishop of the Diocese of Arlington, Virginia.
Burbidge said he's not sure why he's being appointed to a new diocese.
After 10 years in Raleigh, the bishop has been instrumental in the planning of the construction of the new Holy Name of Jesus Cathedral, which is expected to be dedicated in July of 2017. It will be a 2,000 seat spiritual home for Eastern North Carolina.
RELATED: Raleigh Diocese reveals opening date for new cathedral
When ABC11 asked him what he thought about not being able to see the completion of the cathedral as the head of the Diocese of Raleigh, he said "I'm human and it's hard."
"I said 'we're at the finish line of this historic project that has been going on for 5 years almost,'" he said. "We're at the finish line but we haven't crossed it yet, and he said but you - I think he was prepared for this question - he said 'but you have done your work.'"
However, Bishop Burbidge said his appointment to the Diocese of Arlington is God's plan and the news came in a phone call from a Vatican official.
"My life is changed," he said. "You know your heart's pounding actually, you know, because you're stunned. I mean there's an element of shock."
He says the Catholic community there is similar to the one in Raleigh - growing, young and vibrant.
Raleigh's Catholic community saw tremendous growth during Bishop Burbidge's 10-year tenure.
Officials say the number of Catholics grew more than 40 percent to 430,000 during that time.
Bishop Burbidge will be officially installed as the new Bishop of the Diocese of Arlington on Dec. 6. The Diocese of Arlington serves 600,000 Catholics in central and northern Virginia.
RELATED: Raleigh's Bishop Burbidge transferred to Diocese of Arlington
As for when the Diocese will get a new Bishop, we're told there is no timeline. It can sometimes happen immediately or take years.
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