Bernard Anthony Hebda (born September 3, 1959) is an American prelate of the Roman Catholic Church, who was appointed Archbishop of the Archdiocese of Saint Paul and Minneapolis on March 24, 2016. He had been serving as both Apostolic Administrator of that archdiocese since June 2015 and Coadjutor Archbishop of the Archdiocese of Newark since September 2013. Before those appointments, Hebda served as Bishop of the Gaylord, Michigan, where he was consecrated bishop and installed on December 1, 2009. He had 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.
Besides English, he speaks Italian and knows Latin, French, and Spanish.
Hebda was born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, in 1959 in the community of Brookline. He attended South Hills Catholic High School (now Seton-La Salle Catholic High School), and then attended Harvard University, where he earn a BA in political science in 1980. He **earned a JD from Columbia Law School **at the Parker School of Foreign and Comparative Law in 1983.
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.
Hebda was appointed as Coadjutor Archbishop of Newark on September 24, 2013,where Archbishop John Myers said he had asked for the appointment of someone to assist him as he approached retirement age, though he had been the target of charges that he had mishandled cases of the sexual abuse of minors.Hebda chose a dormitory at Seton Hall University as his residence. He defended Myers against complaints he had spent an extravagant amount on living quarters for his retirement, noting he had lived in shared quarters at the cathedral rectory in Newark for thirteen years.
In November 2013, Hebda was elected to chair the Committee on Canonical Affairs and Church Governance of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB).
He continued in this coadjutor appointment when also named apostolic administrator of St. Paul and Minneapolis (see below) and would later cease as coadjutor when appointed archbishop of the latter see.
On June 15, 2015, Pope Francis accepted the resignations of Archbishop John Clayton Nienstedt and Auxiliary Bishop Lee A. Piché of Archdiocese of Saint Paul and Minneapolis, who cited the provision of Canon Law that advises the resignation of a bishop who “become less able to fulfill his office because of ill health or some other grave cause”. The same day Pope Francis appointed Hebda its Apostolic Administrator to serve until a new archbishop would be installed. In September Hebda met with representatives of the Minnesota chapter of the Catholic Coalition for Church Reform, a group Nienstedt had described as “an affront to the hierarchical ordering of the church … and a threat to her unity”. They discussed how the laity could participate in defining the needs of the archdiocese and what it expects from its next archbishop. Hebda said “was delighted to learn that they share my interest in engaging in a wide consultation of the faithful in assessing the needs of the archdiocese” and “I was also happy to share with them some of the preliminary plans for that consultation, and appreciated their input and offer of collaboration.” He organized a series of public meetings–“listening sessions”–throughout the diocese to allow Catholic parishioners, clergy, and employees to express their views on the appointment of a new archbishop. During his term as administrator, the Archdiocese reached agreement on a civil settlement with officials of Ramsey County on procedures to prevent child sexual abuse. It provided for judicial oversight for three years. In a letter to Catholics in the archdiocese Hebda wrote: “We are agreeing to implement the plan under a set deadline and to be held accountable for that commitment.” He called the settlement “the most public indicator that this archdiocese has earnestly embarked on a journey of self-reflection, evaluation and action” In his time as administrator, less than a year, he handled a number of cases of priests charged with sexual abuse of minors, both removing and reinstating them.
On March 24, 2016, he was named Archbishop of Saint Paul and Minneapolis. He was installed on May 13, 2016
Sure doesn’t seem like a “waste” to me.