VATICAN CITY – Pope Francis has named a new bishop for Rockville Centre, New York, tapping the bishop of Allentown, Pennsylvania whose diocese is one of six undergoing a statewide grand jury investigation into clerical sex abuse.
Bishop John Barres has said the Allentown diocese is fully cooperating with investigators and noted that since 2002, it has given county prosecutors all records of accused priests.
The abuse scandal, which exploded in the U.S. in Boston in 2002, has heated up recently in Pennsylvania. In March, a state grand jury report said two former bishops who led the Altoona-Johnstown diocese had helped cover up the abuse of hundreds of children.
Barres replaces Rockville Centre's retiring bishop, William Murphy, in the eighth-largest U.S. diocese that serves 1.45 million Catholics on Long Island.