At St. John the Evangelist Church near downtown Indianapolis Wednesday, Catholics in the Archdiocese of Indianapolis witnessed the ordination of the first auxiliary bishop since 1933. More than 100 priests and 17 cardinals and bishops were on hand for the ceremony
“It's a special day obviously for everybody in the Archdiocese of Indianapolis and the nearly quarter of a million Catholics in the archdiocese,” Greg Otolski said.
In a lavish ceremony, 52-year old Father Christopher Coyne was ordained by the very man he was appointed by the Pope to assist. The new Auxiliary Bishop Coyne will offer help with Buechlein's duties including traveling to different areas.
The new bishop will also usher in a new era of reaching out to Catholics with more emphasis on preaching and using technology like the internet to spread the word.
“He’s 52-years-old and he's got a blog that he's been running for a long time. He's a really tech savvy person,” Otolski said.
The ordination did come with some controversy though. Protesters with signs gathered outside the church.
"We would like the bishops around the world to be more accountable for their actions,” Ceil Shepley said.
They said they're angry because Bishop Coyne served as the public spokesperson for Cardinal Bernard Law in Boston from 2002-2005. They said they think he helped to cover up the child sex abuse scandal that rocked the church shortly thereafter.
"It's very clear in the book of Micah that you’re to act justly, love passionately and walk humbly with your God. So when we see justice then we will believe that there has been real repentance,” Mary Heins said.
Church officials said Bishop Coyne has apologized for what happened and that he played no part in any cover-up.