February 24, 2012

Ad limina visit brings no news on new archbishop, affirms Bishop Coyne’s social media outreach

U.S. bishops on their ad limina visits concelebrate Mass in front of the tomb of St. Peter in the crypt of St. Peter’s Basilica at the Vatican on Feb. 9. From left in the first row are Bishop Christopher J. Coyne of Indianapolis; Retired Bishop Gerald A. Gettelfinger of Evansville, Ind.; Archbishop Jerome E. Listecki of Milwaukee; and Bishop Charles C. Thompson of Evansville, Ind. (CNS photo/Paul Haring)

U.S. bishops on their ad limina visits concelebrate Mass in front of the tomb of St. Peter in the crypt of St. Peter’s Basilica at the Vatican on Feb. 9. From left in the first row are Bishop Christopher J. Coyne of Indianapolis; Retired Bishop Gerald A. Gettelfinger of Evansville, Ind.; Archbishop Jerome E. Listecki of Milwaukee; and Bishop Charles C. Thompson of Evansville, Ind. (CNS photo/Paul Haring)

Criterion staff report

Following his return from his ad limina visit with Pope Benedict XVI and other Vatican officials, Bishop Christopher J. Coyne said he didn’t receive any news about who the next archbishop of Indianapolis will be or when the pope will make the appointment.

“As far as the next archbishop, I didn’t hear anything about who it may be or any kind of time frame,” Bishop Coyne said in an interview with The Criterion after his visit to Rome from Feb. 8-18.

“The Church does these things in its own time for its own reasons. Right now, we’re in that kind of transition period. We’re just kind of holding steady, and making sure that things are done well and that we’re getting ready.”

At the same time, the archdiocese has already established committees to prepare for the installation of the next archbishop when the appointment is made.

“When the next archbishop is announced, we will be ready to get things rolling in terms of the liturgy, in terms of the celebration, in terms of getting him out to meet people,” Bishop Coyne noted. “So we’re in God’s hands and we’re in good hands in the Archdiocese of Indianapolis.”

Bishop Coyne shared that perspective after the ad limina visit of the bishops of Illinois, Indiana and Wisconsin with Pope Benedict and the leaders of various offices at the Vatican.

One of the most helpful visits for Bishop Coyne came during a lunch with Archbishop Claudio Maria Celli, president of the Pontifical Council for Social Communications, and Msgr. Paul Tighe, secretary of that pontifical council.

“I got a lot of affirmation in terms of the work that I was doing,” said Bishop Coyne, who uses various forms of social media—blogs, Twitter and podcasts—to promote and spread the Catholic faith. “They confirmed that, in fact, they want us to use the Internet in the manner in which I’m using it to spread the Good News, to kind of evangelize, and use it as a way of going out to people.

“Pope Benedict is very much behind our using all of the means of mass communication and social communication to evangelize and re-evangelize.”

That meeting also led to an emphasis on another focus of the Church’s use of social media—trying to have an impact on the Internet itself by “making it a place that is also a place of the Gospel, of the Good News, and trying to perhaps confront some of the darknesses that are part of the Internet today,” Bishop Coyne said.

The ad limina visit also provided Bishop Coyne with the opportunity to create and build connections and friendships with the 25 other bishops from Indiana, Illinois and Wisconsin who were part of his 11-day stay in Italy.

“I really got along with everybody that was there, and I hope they got along with me,” Bishop Coyne said. “They’re just good men and very interesting. We shared a lot of the things that we were dealing with in the diocese, and asked each other for advice. One of the things that I found very refreshing was just a greater camaraderie and fraternity with my fellow bishops in Indiana especially, but also throughout the whole region.” †

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