The appointment, which was confirmed by the Vatican at the weekend, comes days after the Pope was criticised for his rehabilitation of a bishop who denies the Holocaust.
Gerhard Maria Wagner, 54, is to become auxiliary bishop in the Austrian city of Linz, where he is viewed as a controversial figure by churchgoers and clergy alike. In 2005, he wrote in a parish newsletter that Hurricane Katrina was an act of "divine retribution" for the sins of a sexually permissive society.
He said it was worth considering whether environmental catastrophes should not be seen as a result of "spiritual environmental pollution" - a type of "divine retribution" for New Orleans' relaxed attitude towards sexual promiscuity and homosexuality.
"It is surely not an accident that all five of New Orleans' abortion clinics, as well as nightclubs were destroyed," he wrote, adding: "It's not just any old city that has gone under, but the people's dream city with the 'best brothels and the most beautiful whores'." continue reading
The best brothels and the most beautiful whores? Is that true?