Pope Names New Archbishop to Boston

( [email protected] ) Jul 03, 2003 04:03 AM EDT

Pope John Paul II named Bishop Sean Patrick O'Mally as a new archbishop of the Boston Archiocese on 1 July, Associated Press reported on 1.

AP described it as Pope 'sending a acknowledged leader in the battle against clerical sexual abuse into the epicenter of the scandal in the United States.'

The new archbishop, O'Malley, 59, has been renown for his two previous assignments: He established new procedures for preventing sex abuse in Fall River, Mass. and took over the Palm Beach, Fla. diocese after two previous bishops were implicated in sex scandals.

In 1990s when the Rev. James Porter, who was in charge of Fall River diocese, was accused of molesting children, O'Mally was sent to adjust the situation. The Rev. Porter was sentenced to 18-20 years in prison.

In Palm Beach, where two bishops admitted they were guilty of sexual abuse, O'Malley immediately apologized to victims and took a prompt action.

Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, the lay vicitims group welcomed O'Malley and stressed "nobody can magically undo the horrific pain so many in this archdiocese feel."

Roderick MacLeish, who represented 101 victims of Porter said O'Malley is the right person who can carry this burden and bring about real healing in the Archdiocese of Boston.

However some Porter's victims criticized him 'slick.' "He's good at doing public relations. Actually he's not going to solve this problem, because he just tries to quiet things down," said Frank Fitzpatrick, one of the victims.

The Rev. Richard McBrien, a liberal theologian of University of Notre Dame emphasized that O'Malley is very conservative that he would firmly maintain the policies and teachings of the Holy See.

Bernard Law resigned in December 2002 as a result of overlooking the priests molesting children.

Bishop Richard Lennon has been the interim bishop of the archdiocese. But the Boston church officials transferred accused priests to other parishes rather than removed them, which made about 500 lawsuits unsolved.