VATICAN CITY (AP) -- The pope has named a new bishop to help out and eventually take over for the archbishop of Newark, New Jersey, who is under fire for his handling of a sexually abusive priest.
Bishop Bernard Hebda, currently of Gaylord, Michigan, was named coadjutor bishop Tuesday for Archbishop John Myers, who is to retire in mid-2016.
Coadjutor bishops are often named for large archdioceses. They take over automatically when the incumbent retires or dies. Naming Hebda with three years to go before Myers turns 75 could be a sign that Pope Francis believed Newark needed fresh leadership now.
Myers has been criticized for his handling of a priest barred from unsupervised contact with minors after grabbing a boy's crotch. The archdiocese said it was unaware he subsequently worked with youths.
Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.