National News

Louisville, Ky., Archbishop Retires; Pope Francis Names Black Bishop as Successor

By Catholic News Service

WASHINGTON (CNS) — Pope Francis has accepted the resignation of Archbishop Joseph E. Kurtz of Louisville, Kentucky, and appointed as his successor Bishop Shelton J. Fabre of Houma-Thibodaux in southeastern Louisiana.

Archbishop Fabre, 58, is one of 12 of the U.S. Catholic Church’s African American prelates and he will be the first Black archbishop of Louisville. The newly named archbishop has headed the Louisiana diocese in since 2013. He previously served as an auxiliary bishop of the Archdiocese of New Orleans from 2006 to 2013. He is chairman of the U.S. bishops’ Ad Hoc Committee Against Racism.

Archbishop Joseph E. Kurtz of Louisville, Ky., left, and Bishop Shelton J. Fabre of Houma-Thibodaux, La., are seen in this composite photo. Pope Francis accepted the resignation of Archbishop Kurtz Feb. 8, 2022, who is 75, the age at which canon law requires bishops to turn in their resignation to the pope, and named Bishop Fabre to succeed him. (Photo: CNS composite; photos by Tyler Orsburn and Bob Roller)

Archbishop Kurtz turned 75 Aug. 18, 2021, and as required by canon law, he turned in his resignation to the pope when he reached 75. He has headed the Louisville Archdiocese since August 2007.

The changes were announced Feb. 8 in Washington by Archbishop Christophe Pierre, apostolic nuncio.