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Phoenix Diocese's new bishop has hopes for transparency

Posted at 1:16 PM, Jun 10, 2022
and last updated 2022-06-10 16:16:42-04

PHOENIX (AP) — The next bishop of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Phoenix said Friday that he will strive to be open when it comes to investigations of sex abuse.

Auxiliary Bishop John P. Dolan said he has not yet caught up on the status of abuse claims in a diocese that serves roughly 1.1 million Catholics.

“I honestly don’t know what has occurred here. But yes, the goal here obviously is to be as transparent as we know — not as possible but as we know, what we know,” Dolan said at a news conference.

The 60-year-old, who will be installed officially in August, will be only the fifth bishop in the diocese's 52-year history. He has been auxiliary bishop of the Diocese of San Diego since April 2017.

Dolan will oversee 94 parishes, 23 missions, 29 elementary schools, several high schools, three universities and one seminary.

Current Bishop Thomas J. Olmsted submitted his resignation in January and it was recently accepted by Pope Francis. At 75, Olmsted reached the age limit to serve.

The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, or SNAP, urged Dolan to live up to Catholic officials' previous promises of transparency.

"We hope that Bishop-elect Dolan will make the protection of children and the vulnerable his highest priority and we suggest immediate steps he can take when he is formally installed as bishop," the group said in a statement.

The Catholic Church continues to wrestles with sex abuse and cover-up scandals that have spanned the globe.