New Louisville archbishop named
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - A Louisiana bishop has been tapped to become the new Archbishop of Louisville. Pope Francis has named Bishop Shelton Joseph Fabre, 58, to replace Archbishop Joseph Kurtz, who has led the Louisville archdiocese since 2007.
In keeping with canon law, Kurtz submitted his letter of resignation in August 2021 after reaching his 75th birthday. In a statement, Kurtz said he is “delighted with the appointment” of Fabre as his replacement.
“We’re getting someone who is a deeply human person, a very healthy person, a holy man,” said Kurtz, “and in a special way, a good pastoral bishop.”
Kurtz also said that he has been appointed by Pope Francis to serve as administrator of the Louisville archdiocese until Bishop Fabre is installed as archbishop. The installation will take place Wednesday, March 30 at Kentucky International Convention Center.
Archbishop-designate Fabre was ordained a priest in 1989 and served at several parishes in Louisiana before he was named as auxiliary bishop of New Orleans in December 2006. In 2013, he was appointed bishop of the Houma-Thibodaux Diocese in Louisiana.
While a priest in the Diocese of Baton Rouge, Fabre served for 15 years as director of the Black Catholics pastoral office. He will be the first Black person to serve as Archbishop of Louisville.
Fabre led the writing of a pastoral letter against racism, “Open Wide Our Hearts,” which was approved by the Church in 2018. He also served as chair of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops’ (USCCB) Ad Hoc Committee Against Racism.
Fabre said he brings to Louisville, “a listening heart, a willingness to dialogue, the teachings of the Church and a desire to encounter each and every person and the gift that God has created them to be.”
The Archdiocese of Louisville is made up of 110 parishes in 24 counties throughout central Kentucky. It stretches from the Ohio River to the Tennessee border.
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