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Report: Florida bishop to head Boston Archdiocese

Bishop Sean Patrick O'Malley
Bishop Sean Patrick O'Malley

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(CNN) -- The Vatican will name Sean Patrick O'Malley, the bishop of Palm Beach, Florida, to replace Bernard Law as the head of the Boston Archdiocese, according to a news report.

The Vatican is expected to make its announcement this week, according to John Allen, the Vatican correspondent for the National Catholic Reporter, an independent weekly newspaper.

Law resigned as archbishop of the troubled Boston Archdiocese in December after the archdiocese was shaken by allegations that priests sexually abused children and that the alleged molestations were covered up.

O'Malley, 59, was appointed to the Palm Beach Diocese in September. He had been the bishop of Fall River, Massachusetts, for the previous decade.

In both of those assignments, O'Malley won praise for his handling of sex abuse scandals, putting in clear policies against abuse by priests and showing compassion to victims of sex abuse by priests.

In those roles, said Allen, O'Malley was seen as the church's "fixer."

In an open letter to the Palm Beach Diocese earlier this month, O'Malley offered an apology on behalf of the church to "all victims of sexual abuse by clergy, religious, or other church personnel" and criticized bishops who "failed to take the proper actions in relation to abusers."

"Most especially, I regret that too little attention was given to the victims of this horrendous crime," he wrote. "I pray that the transparency now required by the Church in our country, as well as the pastoral, spiritual, and psychological assistance now available, will encourage victims and their families to come forward and receive the assistance they need and certainly deserve."


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