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Joseph Edward Kurtz Edit Profile

bishop , Catholic priest

Joseph Edward Kurtz, American archbishop. Member of Association Christian Denom. Leaders, Catholic Social Workers National Association (honorary; Episcopal advisor since 2007).

Background

Kurtz, Joseph Edward was born on August 18, 1946 in Mahanoy City, Pennsylvania, United States. Son of George and Stella (Zmijewski) Kurtz.

Education

Bachelor, St. Charles Borromeo Seminary, 1968. Master of Divinity, St. Charles Borromeo Seminary, 1972. Master of Social Work, Marywood School Social Work, 1976.

Career

He is the fourth and current Archbishop of Louisville, Kentucky, having previously served as Bishop of Knoxville, Tennessee 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. He is of Polish descent.

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. 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.

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

Membership

Member of Association Christian Denom. Leaders, Catholic Social Workers National Association (honorary. Episcopal advisor since 2007).

Connections

father:
George Kurtz

mother:
Stella (Zmijewski) Kurtz