Bernard Hebda

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
The Most Reverend
Bernard Anthony Hebda
Archbishop of Saint Paul and Minneapolis
Archdiocese Saint Paul and Minneapolis
Appointed March 24, 2016
Installed May 13, 2016
Predecessor John Clayton Nienstedt
Ordination July 1, 1989
by Donald Wuerl
Consecration December 1, 2009
by Allen Henry Vigneron, Francesco Coccopalmerio, and Patrick R. Cooney
Personal details
Born (1959-09-03) September 3, 1959 (age 57)
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Previous post
Styles of
Bernard Anthony Hebda
Coat of arms of Bernard Anthony Hebda.svg
Reference style
Spoken style Your Excellency
Religious style Archbishop

Bernard Anthony Hebda (born September 3, 1959) is an American prelate of the Roman Catholic Church, who was appointed Archbishop of the Archdiocese of Saint Paul and Minneapolis on March 24, 2016. He had been serving as both Apostolic Administrator of that archdiocese since June 2015 and Coadjutor Archbishop of the Archdiocese of Newark since September 2013. Before those appointments, Hebda served as Bishop of the Diocese of Gaylord, where he was consecrated bishop and installed on December 1, 2009. He had previously served as Undersecretary (third in charge) of the Pontifical Council for Legislative Texts, an agency of the Roman Curia responsible for the interpretation of church law.

Besides English, he speaks Italian and knows Latin, French, and Spanish.

Early life and education[edit]

Hebda was born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, in 1959 in the community of Brookline. He attended South Hills Catholic High School (now Seton-La Salle Catholic High School), and then attended Harvard University, where he earn a BA in political science in 1980. He earned a JD from Columbia Law School at the Parker School of Foreign and Comparative Law in 1983.

He entered the seminary and studied philosophy at the Saint Paul Seminary in Pittsburgh from 1984 to 1985. He lived at the Pontifical North American College in Rome and attended the Pontifical Gregorian University, where he earned a Bachelor of Sacred Theology (1985–1988) and a licentiate in Canon Law (1988–1990).

Ordination and early career[edit]

On July 1, 1989, he was ordained a priest for the Diocese of Pittsburgh, where he held the following positions: assistant priest at the Purification of the Blessed Virgin Mary Parish in Ellwood City (1989), personal secretary to Bishop Donald Wuerl and Master of Ceremonies (1990–1992), and pastor in solidum at the Prince of Peace Parish in Pittsburgh (South Side) (1992–1995), Judge of the Diocesan Tribunal (1992–1996), and Director of the Newman Center at Slippery Rock University (1995–1996).

He worked in Rome at the Pontifical Council for Legislative Texts beginning on September 10, 1996. On February 16, 2000, he was named a monsignor. From 2003 he served as under-secretary of the Pontifical Council.

In Rome, Hebda was also an adjunct spiritual director at the Pontifical North American College and confessor to the Missionaries of Charity. He lived at the Villa Stritch, a residence for American priests working for the Holy See. On October 16, 2009, following the announcement of his appointment as a bishop, the community at the Pontifical North American College presented him with a pectoral cross and crosier.

Gaylord, Michigan[edit]

On October 7, 2009, Pope Benedict XVI named Hebda the fourth Bishop of Gaylord, Michigan.[1] Hebda was consecrated a bishop and installed on December 1, 2009, at Saint Mary's Cathedral in Gaylord.[citation needed]

Newark, New Jersey[edit]

Hebda was appointed as Coadjutor Archbishop of Newark on September 24, 2013,[2] where Archbishop John Myers said he had asked for the appointment of someone to assist him as he approached retirement age, though he had been the target of charges that he had mishandled cases of the sexual abuse of minors.[3][4] Hebda chose a dormitory at Seton Hall University as his residence.[5] He defended Myers against complaints he had spent an extravagant amount on living quarters for his retirement, noting he had lived in shared quarters at the cathedral rectory in Newark for thirteen years.[6]

In November 2013, Hebda was elected to chair the Committee on Canonical Affairs and Church Governance of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB).[7]

He continued in this coadjutor appointment when also named apostolic administrator of St. Paul and Minneapolis (see below) and would later cease as coadjutor when appointed archbishop of the latter see.

St. Paul and Minneapolis[edit]

On June 15, 2015, Pope Francis accepted the resignations of Archbishop John Clayton Nienstedt and Auxiliary Bishop Lee A. Piché of Archdiocese of Saint Paul and Minneapolis, who cited the provision of Canon Law that advises the resignation of a bishop who "become[s] less able to fulfill his office because of ill health or some other grave cause". The same day Pope Francis appointed Hebda its Apostolic Administrator to serve until a new archbishop would be installed.[8][9] In September Hebda met with representatives of the Minnesota chapter of the Catholic Coalition for Church Reform, a group Nienstedt had described as "an affront to the hierarchical ordering of the church ... and a threat to her unity". They discussed how the laity could participate in defining the needs of the archdiocese and what it expects from its next archbishop. Hebda said "was delighted to learn that they share my interest in engaging in a wide consultation of the faithful in assessing the needs of the archdiocese" and "I was also happy to share with them some of the preliminary plans for that consultation, and appreciated their input and offer of collaboration."[10] He organized a series of public meetings–"listening sessions"–throughout the diocese to allow Catholic parishioners, clergy, and employees to express their views on the appointment of a new archbishop.[11][12] During his term as administrator, the Archdiocese reached agreement on a civil settlement with officials of Ramsey County on procedures to prevent child sexual abuse. It provided for judicial oversight for three years. In a letter to Catholics in the archdiocese Hebda wrote: "We are agreeing to implement the plan under a set deadline and to be held accountable for that commitment."[13] He called the settlement "the most public indicator that this archdiocese has earnestly embarked on a journey of self-reflection, evaluation and action".[14] In his time as administrator, less than a year, he handled a number of cases of priests charged with sexual abuse of minors, both removing and reinstating them.[15][16][17] One priest, the Reverend Father Mark Wehmann, was allowed to return to some form of as-yet to be determined public ministry, after he had had some type of inappropriate interactions with youth, and had voluntarily stepped aside in December 2013 (law enforcement had been notified, but brought no charges). He was cleared to return and had completed counseling interventions.[18]

On March 24, 2016, he was named Archbishop of Saint Paul and Minneapolis. He was installed on May 13, 2016.[19]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Missionaries of Charity confessor appointed to shepherd Michigan diocese". Catholic News Agency. October 7, 2009. Retrieved March 25, 2015. 
  2. ^ Perlman, William (November 5, 2013). "Parishioners welcome Archbishop Bernard Hebda at a special Mass in Newark". Retrieved March 25, 2016. 
  3. ^ McElwee, Joshua J. (September 23, 2013). "Newark archbishop: coadjutor appointed at his request". National Catholic Reporter. Retrieved 26 March 2016. 
  4. ^ "Newark Archbishop Denies That Criticism Led to Moves". New York Times. Associated Press. September 24, 2013. Retrieved 26 March 2016. 
  5. ^ Winters, Michael Sean (July 13, 2015). "Take nothing for the journey.". National Catholic Reporter. Retrieved March 25, 2016. 
  6. ^ Hebda, Bernard (March 17, 2014). "Opinion: Focus on archbishop's commitment to serve". Bergen Record. Retrieved March 25, 2016. 
  7. ^ Winters, Michael Sean (November 12, 2013). "Committee Chairmen Elections". National Catholic Reporter. Retrieved March 25, 2016. 
  8. ^ "Rinunce e nomine, 15.06.2015" (Press release) (in Italian). Holy See Press Office. June 15, 2016. Retrieved March 25, 2016. 
  9. ^ Smith, Mitch; Goodstein, Laurie (June 15, 2015). "Catholic Archbishop and Aide Resign in Minnesota Over Sexual Abuse Scandal". New York Times. Retrieved March 25, 2016. 
  10. ^ Elliott, Elizabeth A. (September 21, 2015). "Vatican-appointed interim administrator met with Minnesota Catholic reform group". Retrieved March 25, 2016. 
  11. ^ Elliott, Elizabeth A. (October 1, 2015). "St. Paul-Minneapolis archdiocese asks for input about new archbishop". Retrieved March 25, 2016. 
  12. ^ Elliott, Elizabeth A. (November 2, 2015). "Listening Sessions continue in Minneapolis-St. Paul". Retrieved March 25, 2016. 
  13. ^ Roewe, Brian (December 18, 2015). "Settlement reached in St. Paul-Minneapolis archdiocese civil case". National Catholic Reporter. Retrieved March 25, 2016. 
  14. ^ Nelson, Todd; Davey, Monica (December 18, 2015). "Archdiocese of St. Paul Settles Civil Complaint on Child Sexual Abuse". New York Times. Retrieved March 26, 2016. 
  15. ^ "Minn. priest put on leave after abuse allegation". CRUX. Associated Press. August 28, 2015. Retrieved March 26, 2016. 
  16. ^ "St. Paul-Minneapolis removes 1 priest, reinstates another". CRUX. Associated Press. September 3, 2015. Retrieved March 26, 2016. 
  17. ^ "Minn. archdiocese reinstates priest who faced abuse allegation". CRUX. Associated Press. March 17, 2016. Retrieved March 26, 2016. 
  18. ^
  19. ^ Hopfensperger, Jean (May 13, 2016). "Thousands turn out to welcome Archbishop Hebda". Minneapolis Star-Tribune. Retrieved May 13, 2016. 

External links[edit]

Episcopal succession[edit]

Catholic Church titles
Preceded by
John Clayton Nienstedt
Archbishop of Saint Paul and Minneapolis
Preceded by
Coadjutor Archbishop of Newark
Succeeded by
Preceded by
Patrick R. Cooney
Bishop of Gaylord
Succeeded by
Steven J. Raica