Pope Francis Appoints New Bishop to Diocese of Rockville Centre

News 12
December 9, 2016

Pope Francis has announced his appointment of a new bishop of the Diocese of Rockville Centre.

Rev. John Barres, 56, will succeed Bishop William Murphy. Murphy, 76, led the Rockville Centre Diocese since 2001.

Barres leaves the Diocese of Allentown, which is one of the six undergoing a statewide grand jury investigation into clerical sex abuse. He says he hopes the church can heal, move forward and provide support to victims of this type of crime.

Bishop Murphy released a statement regarding the appointment saying, "It is my deep conviction that he will be a bishop for all of us without exception. He has shared with me his love of youth and his care for the elderly."

Bishop Murphy leaves behind a legacy of mixed relations with Long Island Catholics. Supporters say he inherited a difficult situation following the priest sex-abuse scandal in Rockville Centre. Others criticize Murphy for not doing more to confront the sex-abuse scandal when he was second in command to Cardinal Law in Boston, or when he came to Long Island.

Barres told News 12 Long Island that he hopes to make the church more inclusive to Long Island diverse communities.

"I'm going to celebrate the cultural diversity," he says. "For instance, our beautiful Hispanic community -- as you can see I get very emotional -- because our Latino families give us so much."

Bishop-designate Barres assumes his new leadership on Jan. 31. There was no word on where Murphy will go next.








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