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Pastor From Harrisburg Diocese To Be New Greensburg Bishop

PITTSBURGH (KDKA/AP) - Pope Francis has appointed the top canon lawyer in the Harrisburg diocese as the new bishop of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Greensburg.

The appointment of the Very Rev. Edward C. Malesic was announced Friday. The new bishop, who will head the four-county diocese seated 30 miles east of Pittsburgh, is 54.

He's replacing Bishop Lawrence E. Brandt who reached the mandatory retirement age of 75 on March 27, 2014. Bishops typically resign at that time, but remain in office until the pope names a successor.

During a press conference Friday morning, Malesic said he received an interesting phone call on Monday from the Vatican.

A man with an Italian accent said the Holy Father, Pope Francis wants you to be the bishop of Greensburg, do you accept?

"[I thought] they had called the wrong person, they got the wrong name. I've always asked this question when I've been asked to do something that's challenging. I ask myself the questions, is there a reason why I can't do it? And that's the question that went through my mind, is there a reason why I cannot do this? And the answer that came back was no, there's not a reason," Malesic said.

Bishop-elect Malesic is the judicial vicar in Harrisburg, meaning he heads that diocese's tribunal on church law which governs annulments and other legal issues. He's also pastor of Holy Infant Parish in York Haven, about 20 miles southeast of Harrisburg.

Malesic was born in Harrisburg and raised in nearby Enhaut. A graduate of Central Dauphin East High School in Harrisburg in 1978, Malesic attended Lebanon Valley College in Annville for three years, studying biology, before entering the seminary. He was ordained in May 1987 at St. Patrick Cathedral in Harrisburg.

Malesic has served as an assistant pastor of two parishes in the Harrisburg diocese, and served as a campus minister at York College, Millersville University, Franklin and Marshal College and Messiah College.

He became a canon lawyer in 1998 and served on the tribunal in the Harrisburg diocese in various capacities before being named its judicial vicar since 2006. He began as an assistant pastor at Holy Infant Parish in 2004, and later became pastor.

Malesic will be ordained and installed as bishop at Blessed Sacrament Cathedral in Greensburg on July 13.

The diocese serves about 149,000 Catholics in 78 parishes in Armstrong, Fayette, Indiana and Westmoreland counties.

Malesic will be the fifth bishop in the diocese which Pope Pius XII created in March 1951 by subdividing the four counties, which had previously been part of the Diocese of Pittsburgh.

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