Vatican appoints new auxiliary bishop for St. Paul-Minneapolis Archdiocese


The Vatican announced Friday morning that the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis is getting auxiliary bishop, Minnesota Public Radio reports.

Pope Francis said in a news release that Fr. Andrew H. Cozzens has been named to the administrative post. Cozzens, 45, has been an assistant professor at the St. Paul Seminary since 2006.

The announcement about Cozzens comes two days after a six-person task force was formed to look into the controversial way the Archdiocese and Archbishop John Nienstedt have handled allegations of sexual misconduct by priests in Minnesota.

According to MPR, the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis has previously had only one auxiliary, Lee Piche. There is no indication why Cozzens was appointed to the position or what involvement Piche will continue to have.

In an interview with KSTP-TV in March, Cozzens said he and his fellow seminarians were "delighted" over the selection of Pope Francis.

"The fact that it was a quick conclave, shows that the cardinals had a lot of confidence in this man," Cozzens said.

KARE 11 reports that the new task force looking into priest misconduct met for the first time Wednesday, but the group doesn't many times they'll gather or when their inquiry will be completed.

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