CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCBD) – The 14th Bishop of the Diocese of Charleston will soon be installed.

In a one-on-one interview with News 2’s Carolyn Murray on Wednesday, Bishop-elect Jacques Fabre said the Holy City has given him a warm welcome and that he is already settling into life in the Lowcountry. His long walks are filled with big smiles and friendly greetings.

Born in Haiti, Fabre said he first felt called to priesthood when he was 11 years old; he studied engineering in college, but felt disillusioned by corporate cultures.

“I said no, there were other things in life than being in the business and trying to sell yourself to people for money,” he said. “That’s when I decided to think about the priesthood.”

But even the holiest profession is not without controversy, something Bishop-elect Fabre acknowledged during the interview. Two main points of contention he touched on were the image of the priesthood and women’s reproductive rights.

While the image of the priesthood was severely damaged because of incidents and allegations of sexual abuse of children, the Bishop-elect said the church has been working toward rebuilding trust, adopting a zero-tolerance policy.

“The church is doing its best sometimes; even stricter than other organizations,” he said.

When it comes to the potential overturning of Roe v. Wade, he said the good thing about the church is not having to give a personal opinion.

“We just have to follow the church until, as a community – as a church, we feel differently and it would almost have to be something coming from heaven,” he said.

The 66-year-old priest said the same doctrine applies to the capital punishment cases in South Carolina.

“Following Christ’s teachings, the value of human life is sacred. No one has a right to take a human life,” he said.

Bishop-elect Fabre said he hopes to be embraced and trusted by the Charleston Diocese and the community. Cultural differences are not insurmountable to him.

“I’m not avoiding the realities of color in this country but it is not the starting point for me,” he said.

In October 1986, Father Fabre was ordained to the priesthood in Brooklyn, N.Y. for the Community of Missionaries of St. Charles.

“I am humbled to be named Bishop of Charleston and look forward to serving the people of South
Carolina,” said Bishop-elect Fabre. “As shepherd, it is my hope to work together to strengthen our Church and project God’s love to all who we encounter.”

Since 2010, Father Fabre has served as an administrator at San Felipe de Jesús Mission in Forest Park, Georgia, and as the local superior of the Scalabrinian priests in Atlanta, Georgia.

Bishop Fabre will succeed the Most Reverend Robert E. Guglielmone, the Bishop of South Carolina since 2009.