Pope OKs Retirement of Brooklyn Bishop

By Victor L. Simpson
Associated Press, carried in Atlanta Journal-Constitution [Vatican]
Downloaded August 1, 2003

VATICAN CITY (AP)--The pope on Friday accepted the resignation of Brooklyn Bishop Thomas Daily, who had reached the normal retirement age for bishops. Daily has been criticized for his role in the Boston church abuse scandal.

Daily, who turned 75 last September, sent a letter offering to retire, in line with the usual practice for bishops hitting that age.

Pope John Paul II named Monsignor Nicholas DiMarzio, bishop of Camden, N.J., as his replacement.

"Bishop Daily has made a tremendous impact on the life of the diocese for the last 13 years," said Frank DeRosa, a spokesman for the diocese. "He's a deeply spiritual man. He's been very, very available to the people of the diocese, he has served them very well, and he will be missed as bishop."

DeRosa said DiMarzio "comes to Brooklyn with strong credentials," including a background in social services and advocacy for immigrants.

Daily served briefly as an adviser to Cardinal Bernard Law, who resigned as head of the Boston archdiocese last December amid a public outcry for having moved known priests known to be abusive from parish to parish.

Daily was named in a report last month by Massachusetts Attorney General Tom Reilly investigating the scope of the church scandal. He was accused of having failed to thoroughly investigate allegations of child sexual abuse and of transferring accused priests without supervision or notification to new parishes rather than removing them from pastoral ministry.

Reilly's report said Daily "apparently did not believe that a priest who engaged in such misconduct was apt to engage in such conduct in the future," and as a result failed to take steps to limit contact between abusive priests and children.

At the time of the report's release, DeRosa said Daily had followed procedures that he believed were appropriate at the time.

Daily and eight other top officials from the diocese have been subpoenaed to answer questions about their handling of complaints against priests.

Daily served in Brooklyn since Feb. 10, 1990. Previously, he was bishop of Palm Beach, Fla. He was the vicar for administration in the Boston archdiocese from 1976-1984, when Law was installed as Boston archbishop.

DiMarzio, 59 and born in Newark, N.J., was ordained in 1970. He served as an auxiliary bishop in Newark and was named Camden bishop four years ago.

The pope made two other U.S. appointments Friday. He named the Rev. Peter Jugis, 46, as bishop of Charlotte, N.C., and Monsignor Sam Jacobs, 65, as bishop of Houma-Thibodaux, La. Jacobs had been serving as bishop of Alexandria, La.


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