Bishop Charles E. Jenkins III of Louisiana, saying he has struggled with the emotional trauma caused by the Hurricane Katrina disaster of 2005, has announced his retirement, effective December 31, 2009.
In a letter to the diocese, Jenkins, 57, wrote, "This move is based on issues of health and a concern for the mission strategy of the diocese."
Jenkins wrote, "My struggle with health issues since Katrina has not been a secret. My PTSD [post traumatic stress disorder] was exaggerated by the experience of the mandatory evacuation in Hurricane Gustav. The symptoms that accompany the PTSD now seem deeper and more frequent. After talking with various health professionals, it seems best for me that I take a significant rest, which means an absence from the stress and strains of the episcopate. I considered and explored the possibility of a medical leave and even a sabbatical. I could not bring myself to do this for there is no assurance that I would be back to lead the diocese. I am not willing to ask this diocese to take such a risk."