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 68)
Mahanoy City, Pennsylvania
Nationality American
DenominationRoman Catholic
ResidenceLouisville, Kentucky
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 68)
Mahanoy City, Pennsylvania
Nationality American
DenominationRoman Catholic
ResidenceLouisville, Kentucky
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 to which he was elected 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 11, 2013, Kurtz was elected as President of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops.

On February 19, 2014 he was appointed a member of the Congregation for the Oriental Churches.[3]

On Friday, November 14, 2014, during the fall meeting of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, of which he is currently President, he was elected as one of the delegates to the 2015 Synod of Bishops on the Family, pending Vatican approval.[4]

Doctrinal positions[edit]

Kurtz is generally seen as a conservative and a firm follower of Vatican directives on doctrine and liturgy. The Rev. Thomas J. Reese indicates that Kurtz 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 cleric like Philadelphia's Archbishop Charles J. Chaput, who has not hesitated to call out Catholic politicians who dissent from church teachings on abortion.[5]

Arms of Joseph Edward Kurtz
CoA Joseph Edward Kurtz.svg
Notes
The coat of arms was designed and adopted when he was installed as the Archbishop of Louisville
Adopted
2007
Escutcheon
The arms of his jurisdiction, the Archdiocese of Louisville, is seen in the dexter impalement (left side) of the design. On the right side of the shield is a gold cross, surrounded at the center by a white ring. A white lily on the top left of the cross and an anchor at the bottom left is also found.
Motto
Hope in the Lord
Symbolism
The gold cross on the right side of the shield symbolizes faith. The center white ring. That's a symbol of Kurtz's native Diocese of Allentown, which is inturn a tribute to its patroness, St. Catherine of Siena, who is said to have been wedded to Christ. The white lily is a symbol of St. Joseph, the archbishop's patron saint, for whom he was named. The anchor is a traditional symbol of hope and fits with Kurtz's motto, "Hope in the Lord."

See also[edit]

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