'Abuse can't happen again': new archbishop

Parramatta Bishop Anthony Fisher has been appointed as the new Catholic Archbishop of Sydney. (AAP)

Parramatta Bishop Anthony Fisher has been appointed to succeed George Pell as Catholic Archbishop of Sydney.

The newly appointed Catholic Archbishop of Sydney is "committed to playing a leading role in regaining the confidence of the community and of our own members" after the clerical sex abuse scandal.

Pope Francis on Thursday appointed Parramatta Bishop Anthony Fisher to succeed Cardinal George Pell, who left the position in February to become the Vatican's finance chief in Rome.

Archbishop-elect Fisher, who's expected to follow Cardinal Pell's orthodox approach, said he was determined to do everything he could to make sure the abuse doesn't happen again.

"There can be no more excuses, no more cover-ups and the victims have to be put first," he told AAP.

"The Catholic Church in Australia is going through a period of public scrutiny and self-examination.

"I hope it will emerge from this purified, humbler, more compassionate and spiritually regenerated."

Bishop Fisher, 54, was born and educated in Sydney and ordained as a Dominican priest in 1991 and has been Bishop of Parramatta since 2010.

Pope John Paul II appointed the former lawyer auxiliary bishop of Sydney in 2003 and he served as Episcopal Vicar for Life and Health and chair of the Catholic Schools Board.

Bishop Fisher said he was excited about the appointment but acknowledged the serious challenges that went with it.

"I never imagined when I was a young man attending the Easter liturgies at St Mary's Cathedral that one day I'd be presiding on the other side of the altar rails," he said.

The church in Sydney, he said, was blessed with strong families, its ethnic groups and its youth.

"Australia is a nation of migrants - we need to show we can live together and build our nation together.

"The church has a role to play by extending a hand of friendship."

As co-ordinator of World Youth Day in Sydney in 2008, Bishop Fisher built up a strong rapport with young Catholics that he hopes to maintain as archbishop.

"I am very confident that our young people, given the right skills and support can achieve great things," he said.

"Young people are not only the future of the church, they are a big part of it right now."

The archbishop-elect said the Catholic Church in Australia had made an enormous contribution to nation building through its parishes, education, healthcare, welfare, aged care and more.

"But it has more to do to renew our social capital and ensure that our country fulfils its potential to be a just and compassionate society," he said.

He said he asked all Catholics and other people of good will to pray for him "that I might be a good shepherd after the heart of Jesus Christ".

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