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Pope taps LA bishop, Robert E. Barron, to head Minnesota diocese

The popular YouTube priest said he was 'overjoyed and humbled' to learn of the appointment.

Bishop Robert Barron. Photo courtesy of Word on Fire

WASHINGTON, D.C. (AP) — Pope Francis has appointed a Los Angeles bishop to lead a southern Minnesota diocese.

The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops announced Thursday that Francis has appointed Bishop Robert E. Barron to lead the Diocese of Winona-Rochester. Barron has served as auxiliary bishop of the Archdiocese of Los Angeles for the last seven years and regularly posts YouTube videos.

He will replace 76-year-old Bishop John Quinn, who has decided to resign.

The Diocese of Winona-Rochester covers 12,282 square miles. Nearly 600,000 people reside in the diocese. About 134,000 of them are Catholics. The diocese filed for bankruptcy in 2018 and announced a $21.5 million settlement with 145 survivors of clergy sexual abuse last year.

Barron issued a statement on his Word on Fire website saying he will take over in Minnesota on July 29. He said he was “overjoyed and humbled” to learn of the appointment.