TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) - Bishop Edward J. Weisenburger has become the new Bishop for the Tucson Diocese even though he will not be installed until November 29.
Bishop Weisenburger was introduced to the media at a morning press conference, met his new staff right afterward and was then introduced to the community during a noon mass presided over the outgoing Bishop Gerald Kicanas, who has been leading the diocese for 17 years.
Weisenburger served the Archdiocese of Oklahoma City for 25 years before he was appointed Bishop of Salina in 2012, according to the release.
Bishop Kicanas submitted his resignation on his 75th birthday in August 2016 in keeping with church law.
Weisenburger's transfer from Salina, Kansas was announced Tuesday morning in Rome.
During his press conference, Bishop Weisenburger let it be known he will continue the policies the church has been following under Kicanas, including support for the Dreamers, children who were brought to this country illegally by their parents.
"I very much want America for them but I really want them for America," he said. "Because their gifts, their talents, their dedication reveals to us the very best of what it means to be an American."
He will likely take stands which sometimes put him at odds with public opinion, including opposition to the border wall.
"I think even though cultures, countries, nations have their right to moderate immigration, to moderate the movement of people, safety, security and all of those," he said. "Those things have to be balanced out by people's natural rights."
He favors comprehensive immigration reform.
"I think there's some prejudice against immigrants," he said. "I think it's realistic to assume that."
But he adds the country and politicians must recognize the reason's people emigrate and deal with those.