ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — The Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis is getting a new auxiliary bishop, the Vatican announced Friday.
Pope Francis appointed the Rev. Andrew Cozzens to the high-ranking administrative post.
Cozzens has been an assistant professor at the St. Paul Seminary since 2006, Minnesota Public Radio News reported. He is a Connecticut native and has been a priest since 1997.
The announcement comes as the archdiocese is facing scrutiny for the way it handled allegations of sexual misconduct by priests. But the appointment was in the works well before the allegations became public.
Archbishop John Nienstedt requested the appointment of an additional auxiliary bishop 18 months ago, the archdiocese told The Associated Press. Cozzens speaks fluent Spanish, and the archdiocese needed a bishop who is bilingual to serve the growing Catholic Latino population.
Bishop Lee Piche will remain an auxiliary bishop. Archdiocese spokesman Jim Accurso said the archdiocese has had multiple auxiliary bishops in years past.