Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Hierarchy update

Today it was announced that the Holy Father appointed Fr. John M. LeVoir, a pastor in the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis, as bishop of the Diocese of New Ulm, Minnesota, which became vacant when now-Archbishop John Nienstedt was named co-adjutor to Archbishop Harry Flynn for St. Paul and Minneapolis. Archbishop Flynn retired in May and Archbishop Nienstedt succeeded him. During the interregnum in New Ulm Archbishop Nienstedt served as Apostolic Administrator, just as Archbishop Dolan had been serving for the Diocese of Green Bay, until Wednesday's appointment of Bishop Ricken to that see. There was some speculation that the Diocese of New Ulm, located in southern Minnesota and created from territory formerly belonging to the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis, would be re-incorporated into the archdiocese. We know now that will not happen.

By not transferring another ordinary to New Ulm, the number of sede vacante dioceses in the United States now numbers seven: Cheyenne, Wyoming; St. Louis, Missouri; Gallup, New Mexico; Biloxi, Mississippi; Juneau, Alaska; Charleston, South Carolina; Knoxville, Tennessee. If things follow the normal flow, the next vacancy to be filled will be Knoxville.

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