Bishops elect Louisville archbishop new president


by WHAS11

Posted on November 12, 2013 at 11:20 AM

Updated Wednesday, Nov 20 at 5:20 PM

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WHAS11) -- Archbishop Joseph Kurtz is stepping into the spotlight as the newly elected president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. A role that will have him representing the views of the Bishops in the U.S. and having more face time with the pope.

As president elect of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, Archbishop Kurtz already tackling questions about special issues and what relationship the conference will have with the Obama Administration

"Faith enriches public life. So naturally there is a great desire on the part of the Bishops Conference to have a good and healthy relationship with the administration," Archbishop Kurtz said.

The conference president is the main spokesman on national issues for the Catholic Church in the United States and acts as a representative of the American Church to the Vatican and the pope.

Here at home, parishioners excited for the Archbishop’s new role and how it helps Louisville

"It's a really big honor for Louisville and the Catholic Community here,” Diane Stroeble, a parishioner, said.

Those with SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, hopes Archbishop Kurtz's election to President will turn a new page on an ugly chapter. Many feel he hasn't been outspoken enough on condoning the actions of priests involved in abuse.

"I see this as maybe a way of hopefully being a new beginning and carrying out the mandate of Pope Francis who is trying to instruct the Bishops to be more pastoral," Cal Pfeiffer, with SNAP, said.

The big question on many people's minds, will Archbishop Kurtz remain in Louisville. The answer is yes. He'll be traveling a bit more.

In fact he'll have a press conference here on Friday and then he travels to Mexico for a conference with Central American Bishops.