Roman Catholic Diocese of Fresno to get new bishop

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- Following seven years as leader of the Diocese Bishop Armando Ochoa announced his retirement Tuesday along with his successor, Joseph Brennan

"I hope you welcome my brother Bishop Designate for the Diocese of Fresno Bishop Joseph Brennan," Bishop Ochoa said.

Brennan becomes the sixth Bishop in Diocese history after spending the last four decades serving the Roman Catholic Church in various capacities in Southern California, including the Auxiliary Bishop to the Archdiocese of Los Angeles since 2015.

The soon to be 65-year old will officially take possession of the Diocese on May 1 and will be installed as Bishop the following day.

"I've always loved being a priest. I've been joyful in the midst of pain and we're going through a painful crisis and a lot of wounds some self-inflicted by guys who wear funny crosses," he said.

Bishop Brennan takes over just as the Diocese is in the middle of a sex abuse scandal.

Three priests are currently on administrative leave after being accused of misconduct.

"I can't excuse myself so easily and can't say well I wasn't the Bishop when this happened. I didn't set these rules that maybe exempted Bishops from responsibility of transparency in their mind or on paper," Brennan said.

Brennan has had plenty of experience working with victims during his time at the Diocese of Los Angeles

"We just have to work at transparency. We have to work at always reaching out to the victims. Sometimes they are so angry and I understand they don't want to see me they don't want to talk to me. I would love to talk to them," he said.

Bishop Brennan brings a bi-lingual background to the Diocese having studied Spanish at schools in Mexico over the years.

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"I fell in love with the culture early in my seminary days, fell in love with the language and I'm still in love," he said.

Bishop Ochoa retires at 75 which is the retirement age for Catholic leaders.
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