CAMDEN, N.J. (CBS) – The spiritual leader of 100,000 Catholics in South Jersey says he has chronic kidney disease and will soon begin dialysis treatments, but has no plans to step down from his post.

Bishop Joseph Galante has been in charge of the Diocese of Camden for the last seven years.  And for the last 11 years he’s suffered from Type 2 diabetes.

Diocesan spokesman Peter Feuerherd says the bishop’s kidney problems have now reached the stage where dialysis is necessary.

“The good news is that the doctors say beginning dialysis will allow him more energy. The bad news is that the dialysis itself will take up a big chunk of his time,” Feuerherd says.

Galante’s dialysis will take at least three hours a day, six days a week.

Galante plans to remain as active as his health will allow, according to Feuerherd, although he has passed on some meetings and public appearances lately.

The 73-year-old bishop is not required to submit his resignation to the Vatican until he reaches age 75, which will be in July 2013.

Reported by David Madden, KYW Newsradio 1060

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