Well, it is official on Rome's end - we have a new auxiliary bishop. Fr. Christopher Coyne from the Archdiocese of Boston. Rocco, of course, has all the details on his blog (click here for the story), seen as pretty stunning in that he is A) 52 yrs. old, B) a parish priest (no experience as a bishop yet) and C) from so far away.
An auxiliary bishop is one who obviously assists the bishop, but it is not a foregone conclusion that he is the Archbishops eventual successor. A coadjutor bishop is the title given to a bishop by Rome if Rome intends to make the man a certain successor. Usually, bishops don't want a coadjutor because it creates a "lame duck" atmosphere, although Archbishop Buechlein DID petition for a coadjutor. Interesting that he did not receive one, but there are reasons for that. One reason that Fr. Chris Coyne wouldn't be named a coadjutor is because it is unheard of that a person would go essentially from parish priest to Archbishop, one almost always has to spend time as a bishop of a smaller diocese before receiving the upgrade to ARCHbishop, something Bishop Elect Coyne would not be able to do before succeeding Archbishop Buechlein here.
Speculation then is swirling as to why Rome would only bring in an auxiliary, and most of the speculation is returning to the seemingly 20 year old rumor of the eventual combination/break up/realignment of the dioceses in Indiana. An auxiliary can be moved on quite easily if a change is to be made. Speculation also swirls that perhaps Bishop Elect Coyne might be a facilitator of some of the changes, which would help explain why he would then get moved on elsewhere after a change would be made.
Bishop Elect Coyne has a blog (yeah!!!) and it contains some good stuff on Catholic education, so it looks like we'll be getting someone who shares Archbishop Buechlein's passion for Catholic Schools. You can read Bishop Elect Coyne's Catholic Ed. pieces by clicking here to go to his blog.