John Francis Kinney

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John Francis Kinney
Bishop of Saint Cloud
Titular Bishop of Caprulae
SeeDiocese of Saint Cloud
AppointedMay 9, 1995
InstalledJuly 6, 1995
Term endedSeptember 20, 2013
PredecessorJerome Hanus
SuccessorDonald Joseph Kettler
OrdinationFebruary 2, 1963
by Leo Binz
ConsecrationJanuary 25, 1977
by John Robert Roach, Leo Binz, and James Richard Ham
Personal details
Born(1937-06-11)June 11, 1937
DiedSeptember 27, 2019(2019-09-27) (aged 82)
Saint Cloud, Minnesota, US
Previous post(s)Auxiliary Bishop of Saint Paul and Minneapolis
1976 to 1982
Bishop of Bismarck
1982 to 1995
EducationPontifical Lateran University
MottoCaritas Christi urget nos
(The love of Christ compels us)
Styles of
John Francis Kinney
Reference style
Spoken styleYour Excellency
Religious styleBishop

John Francis Kinney (June 11, 1937 – September 27, 2019) was an American prelate of the Roman Catholic Church. He served as the ninth bishop of the Diocese of St. Cloud in Minnesota from 1995 to 2013.

Kinney previously served as the fifth bishop of the Diocese of Bismarck in North Dakota from 1982 to 1995 and as an auxiliary bishop of the Archdiocese of Saint Paul and Minneapolis in Minnesota from 1976 to 1982.


Early life[edit]

John Kinney was born on June 11, 1937, in Oelwein, Iowa, to John and Marie (née McCarty) Kinney.[1] He received his primary education at St. Thomas Elementary School in Winona, Minnesota, and Annunciation Elementary School in Minneapolis. Kinney attended DeLaSalle High School in Minneapolis before entering Nazareth Hall Seminary in St. Paul. Kinney graduated from St. Paul Seminary in St. Paul in 1963.[2]


Kinney was ordained to the priesthood by Archbishop Leo Binz on February 2, 1963, in the Cathedral of Saint Paul. After his ordination, Kinney was appointed assistant pastor of St. Thomas Parish in Minneapolis. He was named vice-chancellor of the archdiocese in 1966. From 1968 to 1971, Kinney completed his graduate studies at the Pontifical Lateran University in Rome, obtaining a doctorate in canon law. [2]

After returning to Minnesota, he resumed his post as vice-chancellor, rising to become full chancellor in 1973. He also served as pastor of St. Leonard of Port Maurice Parish in Minneapolis

Auxiliary Bishop of St. Paul-Minneapolis[edit]

On November 9, 1976, Kinney was appointed as an auxiliary bishop of the Archdiocese of Saint Paul and Minneapolis and Titular Bishop of Caprulae by Pope Paul VI. He received his episcopal consecration on January 25, 1977 from Archbishop John Roach, with Archbishop Binz and Bishop James Ham serving as co-consecrators, in the Basilica of Saint Mary. Kinney served as archdiocesan vicar for parishes from 1979 to 1982.[2]

Bishop of Bismarck[edit]

Kinney was named by Pope John Paul II as the fifth Bishop of Bismarck, North Dakota, on June 28, 1982, and was installed on August 23 1982. He was a board member of Catholic Relief Services from 1993 to 1998. [2]

At the US Conference of Catholic Bishops (UCCB) in 1993, Kinney headed a new committee on sexual abuse allegations that was named "Uncomfortable Listening".[3] Kinney made these remarks:

"I want to make sure that all of us bishops understand the depth and seriousness, the pain and the agony of this problem, and why it strikes at the very heart of the church's trust level and credibility."[3]

Bishop of St. Cloud[edit]

John Paul II appointed Kinney as the ninth bishop of the Diocese of St. Cloud on May 9, 1995, being installed on July 6 1995.

Within the USCCB, Kinney sat on the Committee for Priestly Life and Ministry, Committee on Migration, and the USCCB's Administrative Committee. He chaired the Ad Hoc Committee on Bishops' Life and Ministry, Ad Hoc Committee on Sexual Abuse, and Committee on Permanent Diaconate.[2]

Retirement and legacy[edit]

On September 20, 2013 Pope Francis accepted Kinney's resignation as bishop of St. Cloud. Bishop Donald Kettler of Fairbanks was appointed his successor on the same day. Kinney died on September 27, 2019, in St. Cloud, Minnesota, at age 82.[4][1]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "Bishop Kinney". Retrieved April 1, 2014.
  2. ^ a b c d e Simon-Johnson, Barb. "Bishop John F. Kinney". Diocese of Saint Cloud. Retrieved 2022-10-09.
  3. ^ a b Steinfels, Peter (1993-06-18). "Bishops Struggle Over Sex Abuse By Parish Priests". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2022-10-09.
  4. ^ "Retired Bishop John Francis Kinney dies at age 82".

External links[edit]

Episcopal succession[edit]

Catholic Church titles
Preceded by Bishop of St. Cloud
Succeeded by
Preceded by Bishop of Bismarck
Succeeded by
Preceded by
Auxiliary Bishop of Saint Paul and Minneapolis
Succeeded by