The Holy See announced today that Pope Benedict XVI has appointed the Rev. Joseph R. Binzer, Chancellor the Archdiocese of Cincinnati and pastor of St. Louis Church in downtown Cincinnati since 2003, as auxiliary bishop of Cincinnati. He will be introduced at a news conference at 10 a.m. today in the Synod Hall of the Cathedral of St. Peter in Chains.
“I am very grateful to the Holy Father for appointing Bishop-elect Binzer to assist me in shepherding the Archdiocese,” said the Most Rev. Dennis M. Schnurr, Archbishop of Cincinnati. “He is an excellent administrator, but also a priest of great simplicity and compassion. His love of the Church shines through in his tireless service to the people of God. He is extremely well respected by his collaborators at the Chancery, by the parishes he has served and by people in general.”
An auxiliary bishop is a bishop assigned to a Catholic diocese or archdiocese to assist the diocesan bishop. The Archdiocese of Cincinnati has not had an auxiliary bishop since the late Most Rev. Carl K. Moeddel retired in 2007. Bishop-elect Binzer succeeded Bishop Moeddel as vicar general, a post he will retain as auxiliary bishop. He will be ordained to the episcopacy on June 9 at the Cathedral of St. Peter in Chains.
“I am honored and humbled that our Holy Father would make this appointment,” said Bishop-elect Binzer. “I will do my best to continue to work under Archbishop Schnurr to serve the people of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati to the best of my ability.”
The Most Rev. Daniel E. Pilarczyk, Archbishop Emeritus of Cincinnati, warmly welcomed the appointment.
“The announcement of the appointment of Fr. Joseph Binzer to be auxiliary bishop to Archbishop Schnurr is good news for the whole Archdiocese,” he said. “We have all admired his energy and dedication, his generosity and his kindness. I, together with countless others, wish him well in this new service to the Church.”
Bishop-elect Binzer, a 55-year-old Cincinnati native, graduated from LaSalle High School in 1973 and earned a bachelor of science degree with a major in accountancy from Miami University. He worked for 11 years as a Certified Public Accountant before joining the seminary in 1988 to study for the priesthood. He was ordained in 1994.
He was associate pastor at St. Dominic parish in Delhi Township for three years, then earned a canon (church) law degree from Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C., in 1999. After returning to Cincinnati, he was resident associate at St. Bartholomew parish in Finneytown, served on the archdiocesan Tribunal, and was master of ceremonies for Archbishop Pilarczyk before becoming chancellor.
As chancellor, Bishop-elect Binzer oversees the work of the chancery office, dealing with issues of canon law, collecting and preserving parish records, assisting parishes and priests with matters of civil law, and maintaining files on priests and parishes. He also supervises the Office of Communications, The Catholic Telegraph newspaper, the archdiocesan archives, the Office of Religious, the Tribunal, the Vocation Office, the Permanent Diaconate Office, child protection, and the victims assistance coordinator.
The Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Cincinnati is the 38th largest Catholic diocese in the country, with almost 500,000 Catholics, and has the eighth largest network of Catholic schools in terms of enrollment. The 19-county territory includes 214 parishes and 113 Catholic schools.