Joseph Edward Kurtz

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His Excellency
Joseph Edward Kurtz
Archbishop of Louisville
President of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops
SeeLouisville
AppointedJune 12, 2007
InstalledAugust 15, 2007
PredecessorThomas C. Kelly, O.P
Successorincumbent
Other postsPresident of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops
Orders
OrdinationMarch 18, 1972
by Joseph McShea
ConsecrationDecember 8, 1999
by Gabriel Montalvo Higuera
Personal details
Born(1946-08-18) August 18, 1946 (age 67)
Mahanoy City Pennsylvania
Nationality American
DenominationRoman Catholic
ResidenceLouisville
ParentsGeorge and Stella (née Zmijewski) Kurtz
Previous post
Alma materSt. Charles Borromeo Seminary
Marywood University
MottoHope in the Lord
Coat of arms{{{coat_of_arms_alt}}}
 
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His Excellency
Joseph Edward Kurtz
Archbishop of Louisville
President of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops
SeeLouisville
AppointedJune 12, 2007
InstalledAugust 15, 2007
PredecessorThomas C. Kelly, O.P
Successorincumbent
Other postsPresident of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops
Orders
OrdinationMarch 18, 1972
by Joseph McShea
ConsecrationDecember 8, 1999
by Gabriel Montalvo Higuera
Personal details
Born(1946-08-18) August 18, 1946 (age 67)
Mahanoy City Pennsylvania
Nationality American
DenominationRoman Catholic
ResidenceLouisville
ParentsGeorge and Stella (née Zmijewski) Kurtz
Previous post
Alma materSt. Charles Borromeo Seminary
Marywood University
MottoHope in the Lord
Coat of arms{{{coat_of_arms_alt}}}
Styles of
Joseph Kurtz
CoA Joseph Edward Kurtz.svg
Reference styleThe Most Reverend
Spoken styleYour Excellency
Religious styleArchbishop
Posthumous stylenone

Joseph Edward Kurtz (born August 18, 1946) is an American prelate of the Roman Catholic Church. He is the fourth and current Archbishop of Louisville, having previously served as Bishop of Knoxville from 1999 to 2007. Kurtz also currently serves as the President of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops a position he was elected to on November 12, 2013.

Early life and ministry[edit]

Joseph Kurtz was born in Mahanoy City, Pennsylvania, to George and Stella (née Zmijewski) Kurtz. He is of Polish descent.[1] One of five children (Rose Marie, Theresa, George, and Patricia), he entered St. Charles Borromeo Seminary in 1964, from where he obtained a bachelor’s degree in philosophy and a master’s in divinity. Kurtz was ordained to the priesthood by Bishop Joseph McShea on March 18, 1972, and did his post-graduate work at Marywood University in Scranton, earning a master's in social work.

During his priestly ministry in the Diocese of Allentown, Kurtz served as a high school and college teacher, an administrator, and a pastor in Catasauqua and Bethlehem. He was raised to the rank of Monsignor in 1986.

Episcopacy[edit]

On October 26, 1999, Kurtz was appointed the second Bishop of Knoxville, Tennessee, by Pope John Paul II. He received his episcopal consecration on the following December 8 from Archbishop Gabriel Montalvo Higuera, with Archbishop Thomas Kelly, OP, and Bishop Edward Cullen serving as co-consecrators, before a crowd of approximately 5,000 people at the Knoxville Convention Center.

Kurtz was later named Archbishop of Louisville, Kentucky, on June 12, 2007. His installation took place on August 15 at Louisville Gardens.

Archbishop Kurtz, in addition to his diocesan duties, also serves as Chairman of the Committee on Marriage and Family Life of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops.

Kurtz was elected as the Vice President of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops in November 2010.[2]

On November 11th, 2013, Kurtz was elected as President of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops.

Positions and future prospects[edit]

Kurtz is generally seen as a conservative and a firm follower of Vatican directives on doctrine and liturgy. The Rev. Thomas J. Reese, a frequent critic of the church hierarchy, indicates that he fits the mold of a “smiling conservative” in the vein of New York’s Archbishop Timothy M. Dolan, who is “very gracious but still holds the same positions” as a more pugnacious cleric like Philadelphia's Archbishop Charles J. Chaput, who has not hesitated to call out Catholic politicians who dissent from church teachings on abortion.[3]

John L. Allen, Jr., a longtime Vatican watcher with the National Catholic Reporter, speculates that Kurtz is seen as a leading candidate for archbishop in a major American city with possible promotion to the exclusive rank of cardinal. Allen states, "In church circles, he’s widely seen as a comer, I don’t mean that he’s personally ambitious necessarily, but he’s the kind of guy the system would promote.”[3]

Michael Sean Winters, who writes the blog "Distinctly Catholic" for the National Catholic Reporter speculates, "The fact that Kurtz's name tops the list delivered by the Conference of Bishops tells you how well-respected he is...he'll be in line for future appointments. The Chicago Archdiocese will probably be open next year."[4]

On 19 February 2014 he was appointed a member of the Congregation for the Oriental Churches.[5]

References[edit]

Catholic Church titles
Preceded by
Thomas C. Kelly, O.P.
Archbishop of Louisville
2007 - present
Incumbent
Preceded by
Timothy M. Dolan
President of the USCCB
November 12, 2013 - present
Preceded by
Anthony O'Connell
Bishop of Knoxville
1999-2007
Succeeded by
Richard Stika