Catholic Diocese of Phoenix installs new Bishop during special Mass

The Diocese of Phoenix has a new leader. Bishop Dolan will be replacing Bishop Olmsted since...
The Diocese of Phoenix has a new leader. Bishop Dolan will be replacing Bishop Olmsted since his retirement, effective Friday, June 10.(Arizona's Family)
Published: Aug. 2, 2022 at 9:35 AM MST|Updated: Aug. 2, 2022 at 1:14 PM MST

PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5/AP) — The Roman Catholic Diocese of Phoenix held a special Installation Mass Tuesday morning to install Bishop John P. Dolan. He’s the fifth Bishop of the Diocese of Phoenix over its 52-year history.

The 60-year-old has been auxiliary bishop of the Diocese of San Diego since April 2017 and in his new role, he will oversee 94 parishes, 23 missions, 29 elementary schools, several high schools, three universities, and one seminary. The Diocese of Phoenix covers about half of Arizona, with other parts of the state included in the Tucson and Gallup, New Mexico, dioceses.

His appointment comes as the Catholic Church continues to wrestle with sex abuse and cover-up scandals that have spanned the globe. When his appointment was first announced in June, Dolan said he would strive to be open when it comes to investigations of sex abuse in a diocese that serves roughly 1.1 million Catholics.

Last year, Dolan was one of several U.S. bishops who signed a letter condemning bullying of LBGTQ youth, according to Religion News Service. He also has spent a great deal of time with a parish in San Diego’s predominantly gay Hillcrest neighborhood. But he stopped short of calling himself an advocate.

Current Bishop Thomas J. Olmsted submitted his resignation in January and it was recently accepted by Pope Francis. At 75, Olmsted had reached the age limit to serve. In the mid-2000s, Olmsted spoke out about sexual abuse in the Catholic Church and started biannual Masses dedicated to survivors. In 2012, Olmstead publicly released a list of clergymen in the diocese who had committed sexual abuse.

Watch the mass

The Associated Press contributed to this story.