Archbishop Blair of Hartford, Conn., retires, is succeeded by Archbishop Coyne

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Blair and Coyne
Archbishop Leonard P. Blair of Hartford, Conn. and Coadjutor Archbishop Christopher J. Coyne. CNS photos

WASHINGTON (OSV News) — Pope Francis has accepted the resignation of Archbishop Leonard P. Blair of Hartford, Connecticut, who is automatically succeeded by Coadjutor Archbishop Christopher J. Coyne.

Archbishop Blair is 75, the age at which canon law requires bishops to submit their resignation to the pope. Archbishop Coyne, 65, was named coadjutor by the pope June 26. He had headed the statewide Burlington Diocese since his installation Jan. 29, 2015. Before that, he was an auxiliary bishop of the Archdiocese of Indianapolis from 2011 to 2015.

The resignation and the coadjutor’s succession were publicized in Washington May 1 by Cardinal Christophe Pierre, apostolic nuncio to the United States.

Welcoming Archbishop Coyne

At a welcome Mass Oct. 9, Archbishop Blair warmly welcomed Archbishop Coyne on behalf of the clergy, women religious and lay faithful of Connecticut’s archdiocese.

“Our welcome extends to all his family members and friends who are here for this joyful occasion, and we join them in praying for him and wishing him God’s blessing as he makes his home with us in Connecticut,” Archbishop Blair told a packed Cathedral of St. Joseph. Hundreds of people attended the welcome Mass and even more could view the Mass via livestream.

Archbishop Blair, who is a native of Detroit, was named the fifth archbishop of Hartford Oct. 29, 2013, and installed in the Cathedral of Saint Joseph Dec. 16, 2013.

The Archdiocese of Hartford covers 2,288 square miles and has about a Catholic population of just over 543,000 out of a total population of over 1.9 million.

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