In a local television interview, the new archbishop-in-waiting of the Archdiocese of Hartford, Connecticut, said that if there was one thing he would suggest to Pope Francis to change it would be to move the Church’s headquarters out of Rome, as the Church is “too Roman.”
“I’d say get it out of Italy. Get it out of Rome. Put it wherever you need to. It’s too Roman,” Coyne told a reporter with WTNH News8.
“Because it’s Roman … it’s inbred in terms of the culture of that community there. [Pope Francis has] tried, and tried, and tried, to change the Roman ways, but you hit the Roman ways that have been a part of the tradition of the Church for years,” Coyne said.
“That would be the first thing I say [to Pope Francis]: ‘Is there any way we can move out of Rome and just kind of start over with a different bureaucracy?’” Coyne explained.
The interview aired Nov. 20. Coyne previously served as the bishop of Burlington, Vermont, and as an auxiliary bishop in the Archdiocese of Indianapolis, Indiana, before he was appointed to Hartford in June, 2023. He will replace Archbishop Leonard Blair of Hartford once Pope Francis accepts Blair’s resignation, presumably on his 75th birthday on April 12, 2024.
In the about eight-minute long interview, Coyne gave a sobering look on the archdiocese’s reality, saying that more churches will close in the future. He also addressed the topic of women’s role in the Church, saying that he envisions them having a larger role, and that someday he hopes he’ll have the opportunity to “ordain or name some deaconesses [women deacons].”