November 14, 2014

Bishop Coyne elected chair of bishops’ committee on communications

By Sean Gallagher

Bishop Christopher J. CoyneBishop Christopher J. Coyne, vicar general and auxiliary bishop of the Archdiocese of Indianapolis, was elected on Nov. 11 by the bishops of the United States as chair-elect of the bishops’ Committee on Communications during their annual fall general assembly in Baltimore.

Although elected this year, his leadership of the committee will not begin until November 2015. He has previously served as a member of the committee.

Bishop Coyne said his nomination for the election came up unexpectedly during the Nov. 10-13 meeting, and that Archbishop Joseph W. Tobin encouraged him to accept the nomination.

“I was still a bit hesitant because I see the position as one of service to the Church that will require a lot of time and energy, and I am still transitioning into my new role in the southern part of the archdiocese,” said Bishop Coyne in an e-mail sent from the bishops’ meeting to The Criterion. “But since I don’t take on the chair until November of next year, I thought I could manage it.”

When the election occurred on Nov. 11, Bishop Coyne bested Archbishop Joseph F. Naumann of Kansas City, Kan., by a vote of 114-102.

“I also have served on the committee with Archbishop Naumann, and know him to be a capable and good bishop,” Bishop Coyne said. “He would have gotten my vote for chair if I had not been nominated myself.

“In the end, I am humbled by my fellow bishops’ confidence in me in electing me to this position.”

The Committee on Communications helps oversee the work of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Communications Department, which includes Catholic News Service, media relations, producing conference publications and the Catholic Communications Campaign.

The committee also works with such national Catholic communication professional organizations as the Catholic Press Association of the United States and Canada and the Association of Catholic Publishers.

The committee also helps promote communications efforts in the Church with the Vatican’s Pontifical Council for Social Communications and the World Catholic Association for Communications.

Since being appointed auxiliary bishop of the Archdiocese of Indianapolis in 2011, Bishop Coyne has been active in social media.

He has nearly 10,000 followers on Twitter, where his handle is @bishopcoyne. He is also active on Facebook, has maintained a blog and posted several podcast interviews online.

Before being appointed to assist leading the Church in central and southern Indiana, Bishop Coyne was a frequent contributor to CatholicTV, a Catholic television network based in Boston. He has continued to appear in videos created by the network.

Earlier this year, he and CatholicTV received a bronze Telly award for a series of short videos about liturgy. The Telly Awards are given annually to honor excellence in video and film production.

(For more information about the U.S. bishops’ Committee on Communications, log on to

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