Arsonists sought in connection with fires at three Australian parishes

Australian police are searching for an arsonist following suspicious fires at three Melbourne area churches with links to clerical sexual abuse.

Three blazes broke out in as many days, beginning in the suburb of Brighton with St. James Church, which was almost destroyed Monday. The church is included on the Australian National Heritage List.

St. Mary Church in St. Kilda East sustained minor damage from a fire believed to have been deliberately set around the same time.

New Sydney archbishop wants to help Catholics regain trust in church

New Sydney Archbishop Anthony Fisher has pledged to regain the confidence of Australian Catholics and the broader community in the wake of the church's sexual abuse scandal.

Pope Francis named the bishop of Parramatta and former auxiliary bishop of Sydney to succeed Cardinal George Pell, now prefect of the Vatican's Secretariat for the Economy.

"There can be no more excuses, no more cover-ups and the victims have to be put first," Fisher said.

The Catholic church in Australia is going through a period of scrutiny, he said.