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Christopher J. Coyne

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Christopher James Coyne
Archbishop of Hartford
Coyne in 2023
ChurchRoman Catholic
AppointedJune 26, 2023 (as coadjutor)
InstalledMay 1, 2024
PredecessorLeonard Paul Blair
OrdinationJune 7, 1986
by Bernard Francis Law
ConsecrationMarch 2, 2011
by Daniel M. Buechlein, Richard Lennon, and Paul D. Etienne
Personal details
Born (1958-06-17) June 17, 1958 (age 65)
Previous post(s)
EducationUniversity of Massachusetts Lowell
Saint John's Seminary
Pontifical Liturgical Institute
MottoTrust in the Lord
Coat of armsChristopher James Coyne's coat of arms
Styles of
Christopher James Coyne
Reference style
Spoken styleYour Excellency
Religious styleArchbishop

Christopher James Coyne (born June 17, 1958) is an American Catholic prelate who has served as Metropolitan Archbishop of Hartford since May 2024. He had been coadjutor archbishop since June 2023. He has also served temporarily as administrator of the Diocese of Burlington since June 2023.

Coyne previously served as Bishop of Burlington from 2015 to 2023 and as an auxiliary bishop in the Archdiocese of Indianapolis from 2011 to 2015.


Early life and education[edit]

Christopher Coyne was born on June 17, 1958, in Woburn, Massachusetts, to Rita and Bill Coyne,[1] a postal worker and a parish secretary. He had three older brothers and three younger sisters.[2] He attended public schools in Woburn, graduating from Woburn Memorial High School in 1976. In 1980, Coyne received a Bachelor of Business Administration degree from University of Massachusetts Lowell in Lowell, Massachusetts.[3] To pay for college he worked multiple jobs, including stints as a YMCA lifeguard, in retail at Sear's, and bartending.[4] For two years after graduation, Coyne worked as a bartender,[3] and he occasionally bartended to earn money as a seminarian.[4] Having decided to enter the priesthood, Coyne enrolled in 1982 at St. John's Seminary in Boston. He graduated in 1986 with a Master of Divinity degree.[1]


On June 7, 1986, Coyne was ordained a priest for Archdiocese of Boston by Cardinal Bernard Law at the Cathedral of the Holy Cross in Boston.[5] After his ordination, the archdiocese assigned Coyne as parochial vicar for St. Mary of the Hills Parish in Milton, Massachusetts.[3][1]

Coyne went to Rome in 1989 to study at the Pontifical Liturgical Institute. In 1992, he earned his Licentiate in Sacred Theology and in 1994 his Doctor of Sacred Liturgy degree.[1][3] In 1994, Coyne returned to Boston to become director of the pre-theology program at St. John's Seminary. In 2004, he became an adjunct faculty member there.[3] Coyne became director for the archdiocesan Office of Worship in 2000.[3]

In 2002, Coyne became cabinet secretary for communications and archdiocesan spokesman in the middle of the clerical sex abuse scandal in the archdiocese. According to Coyne, he turned down two prior offers for the position from Cardinal Law. On accepting the job, Coyne said he told Law that he would not lie or disparage victims and wanted full access to archdiocese records.[6]

On September 27, 2005, Law's successor in Boston, Archbishop Sean O'Malley, appointed Coyne pastor of Our Lady Help of Christians Parish in Newton, Massachusetts.[3][7] Some parishioners there who objected to O'Malley's removal of the previous pastor continued to press for his reinstatement. Some opposed Coyne as pastor because of his work for Law.[8] Coyne requested a transfer, which was granted by the end of January 2006.[9] He became pastor of Saint Margaret Mary Parish in Westwood, Massachusetts, in May 2006.[2]

Auxiliary Bishop of Indianapolis[edit]

In January 2011, Pope Benedict XVI named Coyne as an auxiliary bishop of Indianapolis and titular bishop of Mopta. On March 2, 2011, he was consecrated in St. John the Evangelist Church in Indianapolis by Archbishop Daniel Buechlein, with Bishop Richard Lennon and Bishop Paul Dennis Etienne serving as co-consecrators.[5] Coyne was the first auxiliary bishop in the archdiocese since 1933.[10]

In March 2011, Buechlein named Coyne as vicar general, a post he would hold until 2016.[3] From September 21, 2011, to December 3, 2014, Coyne was the apostolic administrator of the archdiocese, from Buechlein's early retirement due to ill health until the installation of Archbishop Joseph Tobin.[11] In November 2014, Coyne was elected chair of the Committee on Communication of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB).[12]

Bishop of Burlington[edit]

On December 22, 2014, Pope Francis named Coyne as bishop of Burlington.[13] His installation occurred on January 29, 2015.[14]

On September 28, 2016, Coyne waived the non-disclosure agreements for all sexual abuse victims from St. Joseph's Orphanage in Burlington who had settled lawsuits against the diocese. He said that he wanted these victims to tell their abuse stories without fear of being sued.[15] On December 17, 2020, Coyne apologized to the victims after the release of an investigative report by the State of Vermont that verified sexual abuse crimes at St. Joseph's:[16]

I absolutely believe that children were abused at the orphanage. No one is contesting that at all. Any victim of abuse at the hands of clergy of the church is an awful thing and I can't apologize enough.

Coadjutor Archbishop of Hartford[edit]

The coat of arms used by Archbishop Coyne as Coadjutor Archbishop of Hartford form June 2023 to May 2024.

On June 26, 2023, Pope Francis named Coyne as coadjutor archbishop of Hartford in Connecticut.[17] He was to also serve as apostolic administrator of the Diocese of Burlington until the pope appointed a new bishop.[18] Coyne took up residence in Hartford with a Mass of Welcome on October 9, 2023.[19] In an interview released November 20, 2023, Coyne expressed hope that the church would one day have an opportunity to ordain "deaconesses", and suggested that the Vatican be relocated away from Rome due to the "inbred" nature of Roman bureaucracy.[20]

Metropolitan Archbishop of Hartford[edit]

On May 1, 2024, Coyne succeeded Leonard Paul Blair as metropolitan archbishop of Hartford.[21]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d "Pope names Father Christopher Coyne auxiliary bishop of the Archdiocese of Indianapolis". Boston Pilot. January 14, 2011. Retrieved December 31, 2015.
  2. ^ a b Donaghue, Mike (December 22, 2014). "Coyne's 28-year path to Burlington". Burlington Free Press. Retrieved April 23, 2024.
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h "Bishop Coyne's Biography". Roman Catholic Diocese of Burlington. Archived from the original on May 18, 2021. Retrieved October 15, 2021.
  4. ^ a b "Bishop Coyne humbled to become successor to the Apostles". Archdiocese of Indianapolis (Interview). Interviewed by John Shaughnessy. February 25, 2011. Retrieved April 23, 2024.
  5. ^ a b "Archbishop Christopher James Coyne [Catholic-Hierarchy]". www.catholic-hierarchy.org. Retrieved February 8, 2024.
  6. ^ Davis, Mark. "Orphanage Controversy Puts Bishop in a Familiar Setting — the Spotlight". Seven Days. Retrieved October 15, 2021.
  7. ^ "Newton parishioners protest pastor's resignation". Boston Pilot. September 30, 2005. Retrieved April 23, 2024.
  8. ^ "Sex-abuse victims rip promotion for pastor". Boston Herald. January 15, 2011. Retrieved October 15, 2021.
  9. ^ Viser, Matt; Paulson, Michael (February 1, 2006). "New Pastor Will Leave Embattled Newton Parish". Boston Globe. Retrieved October 15, 2021 – via www.bishop-accountability.org.
  10. ^ "'Witness to mystery': Bishop Coyne ordained as first Indianapolis auxiliary bishop since 1933". Archdiocese of Indianapolis. March 11, 2011. Retrieved December 31, 2015.
  11. ^ "Learn more about Bishop Coyne". Archdiocese of Indianapolis. Archived from the original on September 19, 2023. Retrieved April 23, 2024.
  12. ^ Winters, Michael Sean (November 11, 2014). "Elections at the USCCB". National Catholic Reporter. Retrieved December 22, 2014.
  13. ^ "Pope nominates Bishop Coyne to diocese of Burlington, USA". Vatican Radio. December 22, 2014. Retrieved December 22, 2014.
  14. ^ Donohue, Mike (December 22, 2014). "Coyne to become 10th Bishop of Burlington". Burlington Free Press. Retrieved December 22, 2014.
  15. ^ "Bishop Coyne: survivors 'free' to tell their stories, waives nondisclosure agreement with diocese". The Burlington Free Press. Retrieved October 15, 2021.
  16. ^ Perron, Darren (December 17, 2020). "Bishop Coyne apologizes to victims of Burlington orphanage abuse". WCAX. Retrieved October 15, 2021.
  17. ^ "Resignations and Appointments, 26.06.2023" (Press release). Holy See Press Office. Retrieved June 26, 2023.
  18. ^ "Pope Francis Appoints the Most Reverend Christopher J. Coyne as Coadjutor Archbishop of Hartford to Succeed Archbishop Leonard P. Blair in 2024". Diocese of Burlington. Retrieved August 6, 2023.
  19. ^ "Pope Francis Appoints the Most Reverend Christopher J. Coyne as Coadjutor Archbishop of Hartford". Archdiocese of Hartford. Retrieved June 26, 2023.
  20. ^ "Archbishop Coyne calls for relocating the Vatican and ordaining women deacons". America Magazine. America Magazine. November 22, 2023. Retrieved May 1, 2024.
  21. ^ "Rinunce e nomine, 01.05.2024" (Press release) (in Italian). Holy See Press Office. May 1, 2024. Retrieved May 1, 2024.

External links[edit]

Catholic Church titles
Preceded by
Coadjutor Bishop of Hartford
Succeeded by
Preceded by Bishop of Burlington
Succeeded by
Sede Vacante
Preceded by
Auxiliary Bishop of Indianapolis
Succeeded by