Archbishop Kurtz expected to be named pres. of Catholic Bishops


by Claudia Coffey

Posted on November 4, 2013 at 6:56 PM

Updated Monday, Nov 4 at 7:46 PM

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WHAS11) – When the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops meet in Washington November 11th, it is expected and likely to elect Louisville's own Archbishop Joseph Kurtz as its new president.

It's a clearly one of the most influential positions in American Catholicism.

Archbishop Kurtz has always been ready for a higher calling. He’s poised to step into a national role which is considered most of the influential among American Catholics.

“We are always looking to use our talents to serve Christ. There is something very freeing about that. The election is not a political election in which you are looking to win and someone else will lose. This is really trying to put ourselves at the service of Christ," Archbishop Kurtz said.

Archbishop Kurtz is currently the vice president and will have to be elected to the top spot when the nation's Roman Catholic Bishops meet in Washington D.C. next week. He is expected to be elected, but ask him and he is prepared for anything.

“If someone else is elected president, I'll be the biggest person supporting that person," Archbishop Kurtz said.

In this role, Archbishop Kurtz would serve as an advocate for colleagues' views in Washington D.C. on such issues as same-sex marriage and the federal mandate for employers to cover contraception for employees which are issues he's been quite vocal about. 

He'd also serve as the main go between to the Vatican. He would take the bishops concerns to Rome and bring back Rome's views to them.

“If you asked to do something, it is my belief that God gives us the grace to accomplish that," says Archbishop Kurtz said.

He would essentially be public face and voice of 445 bishops who shepherd the largest religious body in the United States, with 67 million members.

A lot of people may be wondering if elected, will he still be the Archbishop here in Louisville? The answer is yes. He'll be traveling quite a bit will remain here.