April 6, 2011 // Uncategorized

Cincinnati's vicar general appointed auxiliary bishop for archdiocese

Father Joseph R. Binzer, who is vicar general of the Cincinnati Archdiocese and a Cincinnati pastor, speaks during an April 6 press conference after being appointed an auxiliary bishop for the archdiocese. The appointment was announced in Washington April 6 by Archbishop Pietro Sambi, apostolic nuncio to the United States. (CNS photo/Colleen Kelley, Catholic Transcript)

WASHINGTON (CNS) — Pope Benedict XVI has appointed Father Joseph R. Binzer, who is vicar general of the Cincinnati Archdiocese and a Cincinnati pastor, to be an auxiliary bishop for the archdiocese.

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

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

The Cincinnati Archdiocese has been without an auxiliary bishop since the retirement in 2007 of the late Bishop Carl K. Moeddel.

Ordained a priest of the Cincinnati Archdiocese in 1994, Bishop-designate Binzer was named vicar general in June 2007, and as a bishop he will remain in that post. Before that, he had served as chancellor since 2003, the same year he was named pastor of St. Louis Parish in Cincinnati.

Archbishop Dennis M. Schnurr of Cincinnati said he was grateful to the pope for naming the vicar general as auxiliary bishop “to assist me in shepherding the archdiocese.”

“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,” the archbishop said in a statement.

“Just a boy from Groesbeck” is how Bishop-designate Binzer is fond of referring to himself. He is one of six children born to Robert and Joan Binzer and attended Catholic grade school in Groesbeck, northwest of Cincinnati.

He said he was “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 in a statement.

Born April 26, 1955, in Cincinnati, the bishop-designate graduated from La Salle Catholic High School in 1973. He earned a bachelor’s degree in accounting at Miami University of Ohio in 1977 and worked for 11 years as a certified public accountant with Crowe Chizek and Co. in South Bend, Ind., and with Arthur Young & Co., in Cincinnati before entering the seminary in 1988.

He earned a master of divinity degree from Mount St. Mary’s of the West Seminary, Cincinnati, and has a canon law degree from The Catholic University of America, Washington.

Retired Archbishop Daniel E. Pilarczyk of Cincinnati, who ordained him to the priesthood, welcomed Bishop-designate Binzer’s 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 his priestly ordination, Bishop-designate Binzer served as associate pastor of St. Dominic Church in Delhi for three years. In 1999 he was assigned to study at Catholic University. He then was named resident associate pastor at St. Bartholomew Parish in Cincinnati while he serving on the archdiocesan tribunal. He also was master of ceremonies for Archbishop Pilarczyk before becoming chancellor in 2003.

As chancellor, he oversaw 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 supervised the Office of Communications and The Catholic Telegraph, the archdiocesan newspaper; the archdiocesan archives; the tribunal; the offices for religious, vocations and the permanent diaconate; and the coordinator of victims’ assistance and child protection programs.

Bishop-designate Binzer is a member of the Athenaeum of Ohio’s board of trustees, the archdiocesan college of consultors and the archdiocesan finance council. He also serves in an ex-officio capacity with the archdiocesan Child Protection Review Board.

The newly named bishop “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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