Roman Catholic Diocese of Orange gets new bishop

ORANGE, Calif.

Bishop Tod Brown is leaving after 14 years because he has reached the Vatican's mandatory retirement age of 75. Bishop Kevin Vann of Fort Worth, Texas will replace Brown and lead the nearly 1.3 Roman Catholics in the Diocese of Orange. He will be installed in December as the diocese's fourth bishop.

However, the change is not without controversy. The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests has criticized both bishops for the way they have handled sex abuse allegations. The group claims Brown tried to cover-up abuse allegations and Vann refused to remove allegedly abusive priests and would not apologize to victims.

Vann says he tried to be upfront about abuse as allegations came to light, and after meeting with victims he has an understanding of their situations. Brown received an award from a Catholic foundation for his "extraordinary courage and compassion" in settling a $100 million abuse settlement in 2005 involving 90 victims claiming abuse by Orange County priests, nuns and lay teachers. It was the largest settlement ever of its kind.

City News Service contributed to this report.

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