Lone auxiliary: Bishops’ resignations ‘a painful process’ but ‘an opportunity for greater healing’

| June 15, 2015 | 3 Comments
WEB Press conference with Bishop Cozzens

Auxiliary Bishop Andrew Cozzens of the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis addresses the media outside the chancery June 15 as he announces the resignations of Archbishop John Nienstedt and Bishop Lee Piché, the other auxiliary bishop for the archdiocese. Dave Hrbacek/The Catholic Spirit

“This has been a painful process,” said Bishop Andrew Cozzens at a June 15 press conference formally announcing that Pope Francis has accepted the resignations of Archbishop John Nienstedt and Bishop Lee Piché.

“A change in leadership provides us with an opportunity for greater healing and the ability to move forward. We will continue to do all we can to create safe environments for all children and to bring just resolution to the claims against the archdiocese.”

Standing before the chancery offices near the Cathedral of St. Paul in St. Paul, Bishop Cozzens also confirmed the appointment of Archbishop Bernard Hebda, coadjutor archbishop of Newark, New Jersey, as the apostolic administrator of St. Paul and Minneapolis.

Archbishop Hebda will retain his duties in Newark, and will serve as the official leader of the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis until the Holy See appoints a permanent archbishop.

Bishop Cozzens, ordained in December 2013 and now the only auxiliary bishop of St. Paul and Minneapolis, asked for “prayers for the healing of our archdiocese and most especially for the healing of all victims/survivors of clergy sexual abuse.”

He thanked members of the media for their patience as they await more information.

“There will be many unanswered questions as we take this significant transitional step to new leadership,” he said. “I pledge personally that Archbishop Hebda and I will work closely to bring our archdiocese into a new day so that the work of proclaiming the Gospel of Jesus Christ, which we have done here for almost 165 years, may continue.”

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  • Pat

    If the enemies of the Catholic Church decide they want you gone, well this is what happens. Another good and holy Bishop comes under the relentless hammer of scrutiny to the minutest detail by the enemies of the Church. Even though Archbishop Nienstadt did everything he possibly could, oh look out, you didn’t dot this I, so you fail. Actually, the good Archbishop followed in the footsteps of Jesus The Good Shepherd and brought the whole message of the Gospel to his people Some people don’t want to hear what Jesus wants us to know for our salvation. Pick any other religion, church, institution, group, you name it, you get a free pass. Doesn’t matter if you are up to your eyeballs in scandal, immoral behavior, abuse. Who is going to know, report and prosecute? No one. It is only the Catholic Church that gets the hammer. Why? Because She alone offers The Unbloody Sacrifice of Calvary, The Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, everyday, all over the world. The work of Satan is always to destroy the Holy Priesthood.

    • Nathan Montgomery

      We must put the corruption and scandal behind us in order to grow and spread our love. This is good change. It is only happening because He has allowed it to. Satan wants to destroy the Church and it’s priesthood, there is no doubt. Satan does this by corrupting Godly Men and using their influence. This happened and we must accept it. We cannot accept misconduct against the Chuch or Her children in any form, but we must also pray for those that have been corrupted. Only once they are exposed and ask forgiveness can we move on, and we must move on. Satans corruption has given God an opportunity to make a correction. Unfortunately this time a Godly man has to suffer the trials of his true nature. He tried to protect the Church and in doing so harmed it.

  • DebraBrunsberg

    Archbishop Nienstedt and Bishop Piche will be greatly missed. Their dedication to the Lord and His Truths were a blessing to this Archdiocese. We have witnessed the unrelentless attacks against the Archbishop ever since the marriage amendment issue. It is so sad that this has happened. May the Lord bring healing and a strengthening of our wills to live according to His Divine Will. May we increase our prayers for all of our priests and also for Bishop Cozzens.