St. Louis has seen racially-charged protests in recent months, and historically has been a segregated city. Racial tension in the city has been heightened ever since the Aug. 2014 killing of Michael Brown by a Ferguson, MO police officer.
Rozanski referred to racism as "a man-made plague that isolates us from one another" and diminishes our God-given dignity.
A bishop must always foster a missionary attitude in his diocese, Rozanski said, which involves listening to all his people, not merely those who "would tell him what he wants to hear."
He called for Catholics to work on "bold and creative methods" of evangelization.
"Let us walk together on this journey of faith. I need your help, and I need your prayers," he said.
Rozanski had previously led the Diocese of Springfield in Massachusetts since 2014.
A Baltimore native, Rozanski was born in 1958, and attended Catholic schools in the city. He attended seminary at the Catholic University of America, and was ordained a priest of the Archdiocese of Baltimore in 1984. He served in parish ministry, the archdiocesan curia, and with its seminary, and was named a monsignor in 2003.
St. John Paul II appointed Rozanski auxiliary bishop of Baltimore in 2004. He oversaw one of Baltimore archdiocese's geographical vicariates while parishes were merged, and served as vicar for Hispanics. He was vocal in supporting Maryland's DREAM act, allowing some undocumented immigrants to receive in-state college tuition.
At the time of his episcopal consecration, Rozanski was the youngest bishop in the United States. He went on to serve as chair of the U.S. bishops' conference committee for Ecumenical and Interreligious Affairs and as a consultant to the National Association for the Inclusion of Persons with Disabilities.
A Polish-American, Rozanski has co-chaired the Polish National Catholic – Roman Catholic Dialogue. The Polish National Catholic Church is a schismatic Church founded in the U.S. in the late 19th-century by Polish-American immigrants.
He is a member of the Knights of Columbus and a Knight Commander of the Order of the Holy Sepulchre of Jerusalem.
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Though Rozanski himself backed major changes in the Springfield diocese's handling of abuse, CNA has reported that one anonymous abuse victim has asked for a Church investigation into whether Rozanski was involved in covering up abuse by a former bishop of the diocese.
On June 24 of this year, the Springfield diocese released a 373-page report finding that an alleged victim's claim he was molested by the late Bishop Christopher Weldon were "unequivocally credible," despite Weldon not yet being listed on the Springfield diocese's list of clergy credibly accused of abuse.
The investigator, Judge Peter A. Velis, said his findings raise questions about whether there was an attempt to conceal the report's contents about Bishop Weldon from the review board or Bishop Rozanski.
In June, Rozanski apologized for the "chronic mishandling of the case, time and time again, since 2014."
"At almost every instance, we have failed this courageous man who nonetheless persevered thanks in part to a reliable support network as well to a deep desire for a just response for the terrible abuse which he endured," Rozanski said at a June press conference, one year after he commissioned the independent investigation into the matter.
In March 2020, amid the coronavirus pandemic, Bishop Rozanski attempted to authorize a change to norms for the anointing of the sick, permitting a nurse, rather than a priest, to conduct the physical anointing. Only a priest can validly administer the sacrament.