If it was true, as some critics said back when, that Roman Catholic Bishop Kevin Vann was too timid in dealing with difficult issues, that won't be his legacy when he leaves the Diocese of Fort Worth in December.It's hardly surprising that Pope Benedict XVI assigned Vann to Orange County, Calif., the fastest-growing Catholic diocese in the country. The Fort Worth Diocese grew from 400,000 to 710,000 during Van's seven years here. But that's only one of the many challenges he ably handled.Vann, 61, is a former lab technician who spent most of his life in Illinois. He was ordained bishop after his predecessor, Bishop Joseph Delaney, died in July 2005.Where Delaney exercised tightly centralized authority, Vann was out in the parishes of the 28-county diocese, affable and approachable, and he reached out to other religions.Where Delaney mishandled allegations about sexual abuse by priests and tried to avoid bad publicity, Vann was more forthright and responsible. He sought to remove priests when evidence was credible. He apologized to victims, many of whom settled lawsuits for undisclosed sums of money. And he oversaw the implementation of new training policies for preventing, recognizing and reporting abuse.During Vann's tenure, the diocese built a family pastoral center in downtown Fort Worth, relocated Catholic Charities on the south side, committed $50 million for parishes and schools and opened one of the largest Vietnamese Catholic churches in the country in Arlington.And Vann hasn't shied away from other controversial issues. The bishop, who speaks Spanish and Vietnamese, has advocated for immigration reform. He was appointed by the Vatican to help bring married Anglican priests into the Catholic priesthood. And he endorsed a Fort Worth Diocese lawsuit against the Obama administration over healthcare insurance coverage of contraceptives.Catholics in the Fort Worth diocese should hope for a new spiritual leader who's as much of an asset to the broader community.