October 3, 2017

Diocese of Tucson Introduces New Bishop

Edward Joseph Weisenburger comes to Tucson after serving as Bishop of Salina, Kansas.

Bishop Weisenburger Bishop of the Diocese of Tucson Edward Joseph Weisenburger.

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The Diocese of Tucson has a new bishop.

Edward Joseph Weisenburger was announced as the Bishop of the Diocese of Tucson Tuesday. He comes to Tucson after serving as Bishop of the Diocese of Salina, Kansas, since 2012.

At an introductory news conference, Weisenburger said he thinks Southern Arizona's connection to immigration and refugees makes this a top issue for the church locally.

He quoted Mother Teresa of Calcutta, whom the Catholic Church declared a saint in September 2016.

“People quote her a lot, but my favorite of her brilliant one-liners is, 'I try to recognize the face of Christ in everyone, no matter how good the disguise,’" he said. “And my fear is, we are not recognizing the face of Christ well in the migrant, the refugee and the immigrant.”

Bishop Weisenburger also talked of the need to help the group of young people referred to as “Dreamers,” immigrants who were brought to the U.S. as children and lack legal status.

“I want America for them, but I really want them for America because their gifts, their talents, their dedication reveals to us the very best of what it means to be an American,” he said.

Tucson's new bishop also spoke on the Catholic Church's sex-abuse scandal and the continued need to keep children safe. He discussed what he sees as the church's duty to protect the sanctity of life, advocating against abortion, euthanasia and capital punishment.

He said the local church is known for "a vibrant parish life and excellent social ministry outreach."

Weisenberger is scheduled to be installed as Tucson's seventh bishop, on Nov. 29.

He succeeds Gerald Kicanas, who became the Diocese of Tucson's bishop in 2002. Kicanas reached the Catholic Church’s mandatory retirement age for bishops last summer.

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