Dallas’ Catholic bishop prepares for move to Vatican


Cynthia Izaguirre, WFAA September 29, 2016

DALLAS — On Friday, Bishop Kevin Farrell, the man who helped to unify and transform the Catholic Diocese of Dallas, will move on from the job he thought he would retire from.

Bishop Farrell has been promoted to a new position at the Vatican where he will be the highest-ranking American working directly with Pope Francis. He sat down with us for a final interview about what lies ahead both for him and the Diocese of Dallas.

“I thought it was a joke. Why would he have picked me? I do not know,” said Bishop Kevin Farrell.

The bishop of the Diocese of Dallas is still taken aback by the news. How did he get the attention of the pope?

“I don’t know. I would love to know why,” Farrell said during our last interview in his Dallas office.

On Oct. 7, Bishop Farrell will lead a new Vatican office focusing on ordinary Catholics throughout the world. It is part of the Vatican’s effort to reach out to more people in the pews.

The pope personally tapped Bishop Farrell for the position, presumably in part because of how he turned things around in the Diocese of Dallas after a huge sexual abuse scandal that led to a $23 million settlement in 1998.

“You’re sitting in this little room with the pope, and he has all the time in the world to tell you what his plan is and what he wants and why he wants it,” Farrell said. “And what are you going to do? You just can’t say no.”

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