Richmond’s new bishop pledges to bring Church to "traditional values"


Bishop Francis Xavier DiLorenzo has vowed to make the revival of the Church’s traditional values his top priority.

The 61-year-old bishop was installed yesterday as the 12th bishop of the Diocese of Richmond. William Cardinal Keeler, archbishop of Baltimore, and the nuncio, Archbishop Gabrielle Montalvo, were at the installation ceremony.

The former bishop of Honolulu for 10 years said he would base his leadership upon a 2002 statement of faith, which was developed by ministries across the state, that points to a desire to return to traditional values.

At a press conference May 21, DiLorenzo said his objectives also include developing lay leadership, creating a diocesan office responsible for handling allegations of abuse and implementing prevention, and proclaiming the Church’s teachings against abortion and on other social issues.

DiLorenzo said the pro-choice position, taken by Catholics like Democratic senator and presidential candidate John Kerry, may reflect a problem in "understanding Catholic moral reasoning."

When elections offer "two pro-choice candidates, you have to get in there and decide which candidate will do the least amount of evil," said DiLorenzo, who added that dropping out of the political process would be "a mistake."

The Diocese of Richmond includes 143 parishes and an estimated 80,000 Catholic households.

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