Pope Francis has appointed Christopher J. Coyne, until now the Bishop of Burlington, as the Coadjutor Archbishop for the Archdiocese of Hartford, Connecticut, the Vatican announced today.
He will succeed Archbishop Blair as Archbishop of Hartford when in 2024 the latter submits his resignation at the age of 75 in keeping with church law. The Archbishop of Hartford is responsible for the spiritual shepherding of the half-million Catholics in Hartford, New Haven, and Litchfield counties; Archbishop Blair has served in this role since December of 2013.
Archbishop Coyne has served as Bishop of Burlington since December 2014. During his time as bishop, he has carried out a Diocesan Synod, ministered with his clergy, staff, and parish leaders through the Covid pandemic, and maintained the good works of the Catholic schools of the state. Under his leadership the Vermont Catholic Community Foundation [VCCF] was established to foster and support the good works of the Church throughout the state.
The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops defines a coadjutor as “a bishop appointed to a Catholic diocese or archdiocese to assist the diocesan bishop. Unlike an auxiliary bishop, the coadjutor (arch)bishop has the right of succession, meaning that he automatically becomes the new bishop when the diocesan bishop retires, resigns, or dies.”
Archbishop Coyne will take up residence in the Archdiocese of Hartford with a Mass of Welcome to be celebrated at St. Joseph Cathedral, Mother Church of the Archdiocese of Hartford, on October 9.
Archbishop Coyne will serve as the Apostolic Administrator of the Diocese of Burlington until his welcome in the Archdiocese of Hartford in October at which time the Diocesan College of Consultors will elect an administrator to lead the Diocese of Burlington until a new bishop is appointed by the Holy Father.