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16 Nov 2014 Q&A Comments (15)

Is the power of your prayers lost or diminished if your mind wanders while praying?

Full Question Is the power of your prayers lost or diminished if your mind wanders while praying? Answer The more fully we give attention to pray…

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12 May 2016 Vatican No comments

Abuse scandal motivates me to fight human trafficking, says Cardinal Nichols

The cardinal said the Church had gained a better understanding of the perspective of the victim Cardinal Vincent Nichols has said that the Church’s sex abuse s…

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02 Oct 2014 Vatican Comments (1)

'I can't find the words to say' – Pope Francis hails surviving migrants

Vatican City, Oct 2, 2014 / 04:03 am .- In a private audience between Pope Francis and the survivors and family members of the 368 migrants who perished in a tr…

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28 Apr 2016 Vatican Comments (1)

Vatican watchdog reports sharp rise in suspicious financial activity

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24 Dec 2014 Q&A Comments (11)

What is the Angelus?

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13 Aug 2016 Q&A No comments

Why is St. Anthony of Padua invoked for the finding of lost items?

Full Question Why is St. Anthony of Padua invoked for the finding of lost items? Answer One popular story is that a brother friar of St. Anthony st…

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02 Dec 2014 Q&A Comments (11)

How can you take Jesus' words about being "born of water and the Spirit" literally?

Full Question Jesus says in John 3:3–5 that only those "born of water and Spirit" can enter the kingdom. How can you claim this refers to literal water bap…

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13 Oct 2015 News Vatican No comments

How the 'shadow council' is trying to influence the Synod on the Family

When the first week's reports of the 13 small groups at the Synod on the Family were released on Friday, the influence of those who participated in May's “Shado…

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04 Jun 2015 Articles Q&A Comments (23)

‘Brothers and Sisters of Jesus’ Did Mary give birth Other Children

ISSUE: How can the Catholic Church teach that Mary was a virgin after the birth of Christ when there are references in Scripture to the “brothers and sisters” o…

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Pope Francis appoints Archbishop Bernard Hebda as head of the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis

Pope Francis has appointed Archbishop Bernard A. Hebda as Archbishop-designate of Saint Paul and Minneapolis;  a surprise move for the archbishop, who was presumed to take over the diocese of Newark in July. He was formerly Coadjutor Archbishop of the Archdiocese of Newark, a post he has held since September 2013.

“I am humbled once again by Pope Francis’ confidence in me in calling me to this local church, which has been so influential and important in the upper Midwest,” he said during a press conference held inside the Cathedral of St. Paul.

He also said he was “honored” to serve in a diocese with such a “rich history and its long tradition of extraordinary priests, zealous Religious and empowered laity, all working to put their faith into action.”

Archbishop Hebda who is set to be installed May 13 on the Feast of Our Lady of Fatima, had been serving as Apostolic Administrator of the archdiocese since June 2015. He succeeds Archbishop John Nienstedt who resigned last June amid allegations of an ongoing clergy sexual abuse scandal and other criminal charges.

Last year, prosecutors in the Archdiocese of St. Paul-Minneapolis brought criminal charges against the archdiocese “for its failure to protect minors.”  The criminal charges against the Minnesota archdiocese stem from its shielding a priest accused of sexually abusing children.

Former priest Curtis Wehmeyer is in jail serving a five-year sentence after pleading guilty in 2012 to three felony counts of criminal sexual misconduct with two minors and 17 felony counts of possession of child pornography.

Archbishop Hebda was assigned as Apostolic Administrator to temporarily help with the operations of the Archdiocese until the Pope named a new Archbishop also, he was in line to replace Archbishop John J. Myers of Newark, who reaches the mandatory retirement age of 75 in July.

Hebda had served as Bishop of the Gaylord, Michigan, where he was consecrated bishop and installed on December 1, 2009. He had also 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.

Hebda was born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, in 1959 in the community of Brookline. 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).

On July 1, 1989, he was ordained a priest for the Diocese of Pittsburgh. On February 16, 2000, he was named a Monsignor, and from 2003 he served as under-secretary of the Pontifical Council.

He was named Fourth Bishop of the Diocese of Gaylord on October 7, 2009 by Pope Benedict XVI. His Episcopal ordination took place on December 1, 2009. On September 24, 2013, Pope Francis named Bishop Hebda Coadjutor Archbishop of the Archdiocese of Newark. On June 15, 2015, Pope Francis named him Apostolic Administrator of the Archdiocese of Saint Paul and Minneapolis.

In a March 24 press release, Archbishop John J. Myers of Newark said that he as been “both privileged and blessed” to have worked closely with Archbishop Hebda.

“He is a great Priest, and a great Bishop,” Archbishop Myers said, adding that Hebda’s “tireless, positive approach to dealing with the challenges presented to him will be one of the graces that he will share with the people of the Twin Cities.”




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