Pope appoints North Dakota bishop to Denver, Maine bishop to Buffalo

Bishop Richard J. Malone, left, and Bishop Samuel J. Aquila (CNS photos)

UPDATED 3:20 p.m. CST WASHINGTON -- Pope Benedict XVI has named Bishop Samuel J. Aquila of Fargo, N.D., as the new archbishop of Denver and Bishop Richard J. Malone of Portland, Maine, to head the Diocese of Buffalo, N.Y.

The pope also accepted the resignation of Bishop Edward U. Kmiec, who is 75, the age at which canon law requires bishops to submit their resignation to the pope.

The changes were announced in Washington May 29 by Archbishop Carlo Maria Vigano, apostolic nuncio to the United States.

Aquila, 61, succeeds Archbishop Charles J. Chaput, who was named to head the Philadelphia Archdiocese in July. The new archbishop has headed the Fargo Diocese since 2002. Malone, 66, has been Portland's bishop since 2004.

Aquila, a native of California who was ordained a priest for the Denver Archdiocese in 1976, was named coadjutor bishop of Fargo in 2001 and became bishop of Fargo in 2002 when his predecessor, Bishop James S. Sullivan retired for health reasons. Sullivan died in 2006.

Samuel Joseph Aquila was born Sept. 24, 1950, in Burbank, Calif. He studied at what was then Vincentian-run St. Thomas Seminary in Denver, where he earned a master's degree in theology, and at San Anselmo University in Rome, where he earned a licentiate in theology.

As a Denver priest, he served the archdiocese in several posts, including as co-director for continuing education for priests, as an adviser to the Bishop's Committee on the Liturgy, and as assistant secretary for Catholic education before being named secretary, a position he held from 1995 until 1999.

He also was the first director of the archdiocese's St. John Vianney Seminary, and chief executive officer of Our Lady of the New Advent Theological Institute.

When Malone was appointed to head the Diocese of Portland in 2004, he was an auxiliary bishop of Boston, ordained in 2000. Prior to becoming a bishop, he taught theology at the Boston archdiocesan seminary and had served as director of campus ministry at Harvard University. He also was director of the archdiocesan office of ecumenical and interreligious affairs, director of religious education, and secretary for education.

Richard Joseph Malone was born in Salem, Mass., March 19, 1946, and ordained a priest for the Boston Archdiocese in 1972. He holds a bachelor of theology degree, a master of divinity degree, and a master of theology in biblical studies from St. John Seminary School of Theology, a doctor of theology degree in religion and education from Boston University, and a licentiate in sacred theology from Weston Jesuit School of Theology.

Kmiec has headed the Buffalo Diocese since 2004. Before that, he was bishop of Nashville, Tenn., from 1992 until his appointment to Buffalo. He was an auxiliary bishop of the Diocese of Trenton, N.J., from 1982 to 1992.

Edward Urban Kmiec was born in Trenton June 4, 1936. He studied in Baltimore at St. Mary's Seminary and in Rome at the Pontifical Gregorian University and the Pontifical North American College. He was ordained a priest in 1961.

The Denver Archdiocese has a general population of about 3.3 million people, with about 541,000 people, or 16 percent, of them Catholic. The archdiocese includes 25 counties and covers 40,154 square miles in northern Colorado.

The Buffalo Diocese has a general population of about 1.5 million people; 634,000, or 41 percent, are Catholic. The 6,400-square-mile diocese includes eight counties in western New York state.

In a statement welcoming Malone to the province of New York, Cardinal Timothy M. Dolan said he looked forward to working with Buffalo's new bishop, adding that the diocese's "priests, religious, and faithful ... will find in him a most capable and pastoral shepherd."

The cardinal also thanked Kmiec for "his years of wise and caring leadership of the church in western New York."

"He has been a good friend, whose insights and advice I have come to rely upon during the past three years that I have been archbishop of New York," Dolan said. "I hope we can count on his wise counsel for many years to come."

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