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Father Joseph Binzer named auxiliary bishop for Cincinnati

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April 13, 2011

ARCHDIOCESE —  Father Joseph Binzer, chancellor of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati and pastor of St. Louis Church since 2003, has been appointed Auxiliary Bishop of Cincinnati.

The appointment was announced April 6 in Washington by Archbishop Pietro Sambi, apostolic nuncio to the United States.

 

Archbishop Schnurr and Father Joseph Binzer
Cincinnati Archbishop Dennis M. Schnurr introduces his new auxiliary bishop at St. Peter in Chains Cathedral April 6 beneath a portrait of the late Archbishop Karl Alter. (CT photo/Colleen Kelley)

“I am very grateful to the Holy Father for appointing Bishop-elect Binzer to assist me in shepherding the archdiocese,” said Cincinnati Archbishop Dennis M. Schnurr. “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.”

 

Bishop-elect Binzer, 55, will be ordained to the episcopacy on June 9 at the Cathedral of St. Peter in Chains in Cincinnati.

 

An auxiliary bishop in a diocese or archdiocese assists the diocesan bishop. The Archdiocese of Cincinnati has been without an auxiliary bishop since the retirement in 2007 of the late Bishop Carl K. Moeddel.

 

Bishop-elect Binzer succeeded Bishop Moeddel as vicar general, a post he will retain as auxiliary bishop.

 

The new bishop is one of seven children born to Robert and Joan Binzer.  He said he is “honored and humbled that our Holy Father would make this appointment.”

 

“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,” he said.

 

The bishop-elect is a Cincinnati native who attended the former St. Ann School in Groesbeck and graduated from La Salle High School in 1973. He earned a bachelor’s degree in business with a major in accountancy at Miami University of Ohio in 1977 and worked for 11 years as a certified public accountant with Crowe, Chizek & Co. in South Bend, Ind., and with Arthur Young & Co., in Cincinnati before entering the seminary in 1988. He was ordained to the priesthood by Archbishop Daniel E. Pilarczyk in 1994.

 

Archbishop Pilarczyk warmly welcomed the news of the appointment, calling it “good news for the whole archdiocese.”

 

“We have all admired his energy and dedication, his generosity and kindness. I, together with countless others, wish him well in this new service to the church.”

 

Following ordination to the priesthood, Bishop-elect Binzer served as associate pastor of St. Dominic Church in Cincinnati for three years. He earned a canon law degree from Catholic University of America in 1999 and was resident associate at St. Bartholomew Parish in Cincinnati while serving on the archdiocesan Tribunal. He was also master of ceremonies for Archbishop Pilarczyk before becoming chancellor in 2003.

 

As chancellor, he 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, the archdiocesan archives, the Office of Religious, the Tribunal, the VocationOffice, the Permanent Diaconate Office, child protection and the victims’ assistance coordinator.

 

Bishop-elect Binzer is a member of the Athenaeum of Ohio’s board of trustees, of the archdiocesan College of Consultors, of the archdiocesan Finance Council, and serves in an ex-officio capacity with the archdiocesan Child Protection Review Board.

 

“Bishop-elect Binzer loves the church and serves her people tirelessly and with great compassion,” Archbishop Schnurr said. “In requesting that he be appointed to this position, I told the Holy See that he is the type of priest who would approach the archbishop or any person he met with equal kindness.

 

“He is already well known throughout the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, and I intend for him to be very visible in our parishes and schools as he exercises his new ministry,” the archbishop said.

 

At the April 6 press conference at St. Peter in Chains Cathedral announcing the appointment, Bishop-elect Binzer was visibly emotional as he spoke to reporters. He expressed gratitude to his late father and to his mother, who upon hearing the news had told him she was proud of him, adding that “she is proud of all her children.”

 

Bishop-elect Binzer recalled that the morning’s Scriptures had included the quote that “the Lord is gracious and merciful.”

 

“I believe in that graciousness of God and mercy of God,” he said. “I share with you that this is a very humbling experience to be with you today . . . I rely on the grace of God and the prayers of the people of God in accepting the nomination.”

 

He also offered his gratitude to Pope Benedict, “for the confidence he has expressed in me,” to the people of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati “for inspiring me and in many ways for teaching me what it means to be a priest,” and to Archbishop Schnurr for the confidence he has placed in his new auxiliary bishop.

 

“With the exception of four years, I have lived my entire life here in Cincinnati, and in the 17 years I’ve been a priest I’ve experienced so many great things,” Bishop-elect Binzer said. “My goal is to continue to serve people to the best of my ability.”

 

When asked what his duties will be as an auxiliary bishop, he responded, “Whatever the archbishop asks me to do!”  

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