Pope taps L.A. bishop to head Minnesota diocese

Published 9:18 am Thursday, June 2, 2022

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Pope Francis has appointed a Los Angeles bishop to lead a southern Minnesota diocese.

The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops announced Thursday that Francis has appointed Bishop Robert E. Barron to lead the Diocese of Winona-Rochester. Barron has served as auxiliary bishop of the Archdiocese of Los Angeles for the last seven years and regularly posts YouTube videos.

He will replace 76-year-old Bishop John Quinn, who has decided to resign.

The Diocese of Winona-Rochester covers 12,282 square miles.

Nearly 600,000 people reside in the diocese. About 134,000 of them are Catholics. The diocese filed for bankruptcy in 2018 and announced a $21.5 million settlment with 145 survivors of clergy sexual abuse last year.

Barron issued a statement on his Word on Fire website saying he will take over in Minnesota on July 29. He said he was “overjoyed and humbled” to learn of the appointment.