Pope Francis appoints new Bishop in Utah

Posted at 6:45 AM, Jan 10, 2017
and last updated 2017-01-10 21:15:58-05

SALT LAKE CITY - Pope Francis has appointed a new bishop here in Utah.

The tenth Bishop of the Salt Lake City Diocese will be Oscar Azarcon Solis.

Solis, a native of the Philippines, is currently serving as an Auxiliary Bishop in the Archdiocese of Los Angeles and has been there since 2004.

Bishop Solis was introduced Tuesday at the Diocesan Pastoral Center in Salt Lake City, but he won't be officially installed until March.

Bishop Solis said he was surprised by the Pope’s appointment and is humbled to be here for Utah. He spoke about his feelings working with The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and brought up his position on some societal issues.

“I was informed of the work of the Catholic Community Services and the Holy Cross Ministries with its charitable outreach,” said Bishop Solis. “With the care for the poor the refugees and the homeless. I saw so many common things that we share with especially with The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. I heard the wonderful work they did with the refugees immigrants, homeless shelters. Who would not be pleased to work hand and hand with other faith groups? My first agenda will be to come with an open mind and open heart. Open mind in order to learn what I need to know to better serve the people of this state."

When asked about immigration, Solis said it is the spirit of the church to work with immigrants and reminded the people at his introduction that he is an immigrant from the Philippines.

“It is the spirit of America, to welcome our immigrants and give them the opportunity I order to grow; and become contributors and building this great nation,” Solis said.

He shared his passion to change the juvenile penal system.

“I think our society is become by so cruel they are forgetting the principles of our penal system it is not only punitive it is rehabilitative," Solis said.

Bishop Solis will be officially installed on March 7th at the Cathedral of the Madeleine.