The Catholic Diocese of Evansville has elected a temporary leader after Archbishop Charles Thompson, was named Archbishop of Indianapolis by Pope Francis. Father Bernie Etienne will serve as diocesan administrator until a new bishop is appointed.
Etienne is the pastor of Holy Rosary Parish in Evansville and will continue that role while serving as diocesan administrator. He previously served as Vicar General during Thompson’s time as bishop.
The diocese says, in his new role, Etienne will have the obligations and powers of a bishop except for those that are specifically reserved for a bishop, such as ordinations and making or changing laws and policies.
"I’m at peace with the administrator position primarily because we have a great staff at the Catholic Center and I have a great staff at Holy Rosary Parish," said Father Etienne. "This responsibility does not fall completely on my shoulders. The Priest Consultors will remain a valuable consultative body. I trust that the Lord will sustain all of us while we wait for a new Shepherd."
In June, Pope Francis selected Thompson to serve as Archbishop of Indianapolis after serving as Bishop of Evansville since 2011. Thompson succeeded Cardinal Joseph Tobin, who left Indianapolis in November to become the Archbishop of Newark.