Updated: Friday, 14 Jan 2011, 6:18 PM EST
Published : Friday, 14 Jan 2011, 4:18 AM EST
INDIANAPOLIS (WISH/AP) - It's a bittersweet move for Father Christopher Coyne, who got picked by the Pope to come to Indianapolis.
"I was stunned. I didn't see it coming at all, and when he said Indianapolis I was even more stunned," explained Coyne.
He leaves behind his home state of Massachusetts and the parish he serves as pastor.
"I've been a pastor for four and half years in suburban Boston and they've been the best years of my priesthood life," said Coyne.
It's a rise in ranks for a man who will celebrate 25 years in June serving in the priesthood.
Fr. Coyne's new assignment will make him second in command at the Archdiocese of Indianapolis. He will be ordained as bishop at St. John the Evangelist Catholic Church in March.
Archbishop Daniel Buechlein called the appointment by the Vatican a late-Christmas gift.
"I requested a co-adjutor and was told it was inopportune," said Archbishop Daniel Buechlein of Archdiocese of Indianapolis.
Here's the difference:
A co-adjutor would mean that person would indeed be the successor to Buechlein a longer search process to fill that position.
Appointing an auxiliary bishop means Father Coyne will not necessarily be Buechlein's successor when he steps down allowing more time to find the right fit to lead the more than 225,000 Catholics in central and southern Indiana.
24-Hour News 8 anchor Joy Dumandan asked, "Will you be stepping down soon? Is this a sign that means we're not going to see you?"
Archbishop Buechlein replied, "No, no. This doesn't mean I'm leaving the scene at all. It frees me up to do some things I need to do and he can do some of the legwork."
Father Coyne has served in many roles throughout his priesthood. He was once as a seminarian professor after receiving his doctorate in Rome, Italy.
He also was the spokesperson for the Archdiocese of Boston during a time when some Boston priests were at the center of a sexual abuse scandal and cover-up.
"It was such an evil thing that was done that the ripples of it is still falling forward and anyone who had anything to do with it touched by that is going to carry some stigma of that but if you go back and look at my public record, I was never anyone who knowingly went out and hurt the victims or their families," said Fr. Coyne.
Archbishop Beuchlein jokingly said the only downside to Father Coyne coming to Indianapolis, he's a life-long Patriots fan.
“Know that my prayers are for you and I ask only the same in return," said Fr. Coyne.