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Father Joseph Binzer appointed auxiliary bishop for Cincinnati

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April 6, 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.


Father Joe Binzer

 Father Joseph Binzer (CT photo by 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.


 “Just a boy from Groesbeck,” as the new bishop is fond of referring to himself, 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.”


The bishop-elect is a Cincinnati native who attended then-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, 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 Vocation Office, 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.

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