Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Cincinnati

The Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Cincinnati (Latin: Archidioecesis Cincinnatensis) covers the southwest region of the U.S. state of Ohio, including the greater Cincinnati and Dayton metropolitan areas. The Archbishop of Cincinnati is Most Rev. Dennis Marion Schnurr.

Archdiocese of Cincinnati

Archidioecesis Cincinnatensis
St. Peter in Chains Cathedral
Coat of arms
CountryUnited States
TerritorySouthwestern and Western Ohio, including the cities of Cincinnati, Dayton, Springfield, and Hamilton
Ecclesiastical provinceCincinnati
Area8,543 sq mi (22,130 km2)
- Total
- Catholics
(as of 2013)
471,457 (15.3%)
RiteRoman Rite
EstablishedJune 19, 1821 (198 years ago)
CathedralSaint Peter in Chains Cathedral
Patron saintSt. Francis de Sales
Current leadership
Metropolitan ArchbishopDennis Marion Schnurr
Auxiliary BishopsJoseph R. Binzer
Bishops emeritusDaniel Edward Pilarczyk


In total, the Archdiocese of Cincinnati encompasses 230 parishes in 19 counties, as of 2005, with the total membership of baptized Catholics around 500,000. The Archdiocese administers 110 associated parochial schools and diocesan elementary schools.[3][4] The mother church is the Cathedral of St. Peter in Chains, located at the corner of 8th and Plum Streets in Downtown Cincinnati.

Cincinnati is the metropolis of the Ecclesiastical Province of Cincinnati, which encompasses the entire state of Ohio and is composed of the Archdiocese and its five suffragan dioceses: Cleveland, Columbus, Steubenville, Toledo, and Youngstown.

The Archdiocese of Cincinnati is bordered by the Diocese of Toledo to the north, the Diocese of Columbus to the east, the Diocese of Covington to the south, and the Archdiocese of Indianapolis and Diocese of Lafayette to the west.


Pope Pius VII erected the Diocese of Cincinnati on 19 June 1821, in territory taken from the Diocese of Bardstown. At the time, there was an unwritten prohibition against construction of Catholic churches in Cincinnati.[5] The first church was therefore constructed just beyond the city boundaries. The diocese lost territory on 8 March 1833, when Pope Gregory XVI erected the Diocese of Detroit and again on 23 April 1847, when Pope Pius IX erected the Diocese of Cleveland.

On July 19, 1850, Pope Pius IX elevated the diocese to an Archdiocese and on March 3, 1868, he took territory to erect the Diocese of Columbus.

Sexual abuse scandals

In November 2003, following a sexual abuse scandal and two-year investigation by the Hamilton County prosecutor's office, Archbishop Daniel Pilarczyk entered a plea of nolo contendere regarding five misdemeanor charges of failure to report allegations of child molestation.[6] The court rendered no criminal judgment on the allegations themselves, only on the diocese's failure to report the allegations.

In August 2019, it was announced that Auxiliary Bishop Joseph R. Binzer, the Archdiocese's Vicar General who was blamed for failing to inform the Archbishop of Cincinnati about a series of allegations that a priest had engaged in inappropriate behavior with teenage boys would be removed from his position as head of priest personnel, effective immediately, while the archdiocese begins its own internal investigation.[7] Binzer has yet to be removed as either the Archdiocese's Vicar General or as an Auxiliary Bishop to the Archdiocese as well.[7] Fr. Geoff Drew, the priest who Binzer had protected, had previously faced allegations in other parishes in the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, only to have Binzer transfer him after they surfaced.[7] Binzer had previously transferred Drew to different parishes in the Archdiocese in 2013 and 2015 following allegation of inappropriate contact with minors.[7] On July 23, 2019, Drew was suspended from public ministry following the discovery of inappropriate text messages he sent to one of his teenage parishioners at St. Ignatius of Loyola in Green Township, where he transferred to in 2018 after more reports of inappropriate contact with minors surfaced.[7]

On August 19, 2019, local authorities arrested Drew and charged him with nine counts of sex abuse.[8][9][10] He will also not be released from prison unless he can post a $5 million bail.[11][10]


Bishops of Cincinnati

  1. Edward Fenwick, O.P. (1822–1833)

Archbishops of Cincinnati

  1. John Baptist Purcell (1833–1883), elevated to Archbishop in 1850
  2. William Henry Elder (1883–1903)
  3. Henry K. Moeller (1903–1925)
  4. Joseph Chartrand (1925), did not take effect
  5. John Timothy McNicholas O.P. (1925–1950)
  6. Karl Joseph Alter (1950–1969)
  7. Paul Francis Leibold (1969–1972)
  8. Joseph Bernardin (1972–1982), appointed Archbishop of Chicago (elevated to Cardinal in 1983)
  9. Daniel Edward Pilarczyk (1982–2009)
  10. Dennis Marion Schnurr (2009–present)

Coadjutor Archbishops

  1. William Henry Elder (1880-1883)
  2. Henry K. Moeller (1903-1904)
  3. Dennis Marion Schnurr (2008-2009)

Auxiliary Bishops

  1. Sylvester Horton Rosecrans (1861–1868), appointed Bishop of Columbus
  2. Joseph H. Albers (1929–1937), appointed Bishop of Lansing
  3. George John Rehring (1937–1950), appointed Bishop of Toledo
  4. Clarence George Issenmann (1954–1957), Bishop of Columbus (1932–1954)
  5. Paul Francis Leibold (1958–1966), appointed Bishop of Evansville and later Archbishop of Cincinnati
  6. Edward Anthony McCarthy (1965–1969) appointed Bishop of Phoenix and later Coadjutor Archbishop and Archbishop of Miami
  7. Nicholas Thomas Elko (1970–1985)
  8. Daniel Edward Pilarczyk (1974–1982) appointed Archbishop of Cincinnati
  9. James Henry Garland (1984–1992) appointed Bishop of Marquette
  10. Carl Kevin Moeddel (1993–2007)
  11. Joseph R. Binzer (2011–present)

Other Affiliated Bishops

The following men began their service as priests in Cincinnati before being appointed bishops elsewhere (years in parentheses refer to their years in Cincinnati):


Catholic high schools in the Archdiocese of Cincinnati
Catholic CentralCo-edSpringfieldArchdiocesan[15]
Srs. of Notre Dame[16]
DePaul Cristo ReyCo-edCincinnatiSrs. of Charity[17]
La SalleMaleCincinnatiArchdiocesan[19]
Lehman CatholicCo-edSidneyArchdiocesan[20]
Mercy McAuleyFemaleCincinnatiInterparochial[22]
Mount Notre DameFemaleCincinnatiInterparochial[23]
Purcell MarianCo-edCincinnatiArchdiocesan[19]
Royalmont Academy[24]Co-edMasonIndependent
Roger BaconCo-edCincinnatiInterparochial[19]
St. RitaCo-edCincinnatiIndependent[25]
St. Ursula AcademyFemaleCincinnatiIndependent (Ursulines)
St. XavierMaleCincinnatiJesuit
Summit Country DayCo-edCincinnatiIndependent

The Archdiocese of Cincinnati operates a large school system that is especially well-attended in the Cincinnati area. As of 2011, 43,641 students[1] enroll in the Archdiocese's 115 schools,[2] making it the sixth largest Catholic school system in the United States.[27] In Hamilton County, where most private schools are run by the Archdiocese, nearly a quarter of students (36,684 as of 2007) attend private schools, a rate only second to St. Louis County, Missouri.[28]

The 23 Catholic high schools in the region operate under varying degrees of archdiocesan control. Several are owned and operated by the Archdiocese, while other interparochial schools are run by groups of parishes under archdiocesan supervision. Most of the interparochial and non-archdiocesan high schools are operated by religious institutes (as noted in the adjacent table).[25] Most of the schools' athletic teams belong to the Greater Catholic League, which consists of a co-ed division, the Girls Greater Cincinnati League, and a division for all-male schools.[29]

The Archdiocese also includes 92 parochial and diocesan elementary schools, with a combined enrollment of 30,312, as of 2011 (ACE Consulting 2011, p. 91). These schools can be found in the urban and suburban areas of Cincinnati and Dayton, as well as some of the smaller towns within the Archdiocesan boundaries. Each parochial school is owned and operated by its parish, rather than by the Archdiocese's Catholic Schools Office. However, in March 2011, the Archdiocese announced its intention of eventually unifying the schools under one school system.[30] As of 2015, the interim Superintendent of Catholic Schools is Susie Gibbons.[31]

Five of the high schools are named after former archbishops of the diocese. A parochial elementary school in Dayton is also named after Archbishop Liebold.

The Archdiocese sponsors the Athenaeum of Ohio – Mount St. Mary's Seminary of the West seminary in the Mount Washington neighborhood of Cincinnati.


  • Msgr. Carl J. Ryan (1946–1964)[32][33]
  • Fr. Herman H. Kenning (1970–1974)[34]
  • Sr. Kathryn Ann Connelly, S.C. (1983–2002)[35][36]
  • Bro. Joseph Kamis, SM (2002–2010)[37]
  • Dr. Jim Riggs, Ph.D. (2010–2015)[38]
  • Ms. Susie Gibbons (2015–present)



The Archdiocese is served by The Catholic Telegraph, the diocesan newspaper, which is described on its website as the United States' oldest continuously published Catholic diocesan newspaper. Its defunct sister newspaper, Der Wahrheitsfreund, was the first German Catholic newspaper in the country.

The national magazine St. Anthony Messenger is published in Cincinnati by the Franciscan Friars with the archdiocese's ecclesiastical approval.

Radio stations

Several area Catholic radio stations, owned by separate entities, serve the Archdiocese:

  • WNOP 740 AM Licensed to Newport, Kentucky. "Sacred Heart Radio" plus a sister station
  • WHSS 89.5 FM in Hamilton, a repeater of WNOP.
  • WULM 1600 AM located in Springfield "Radio Maria" (based at KJMJ in Alexandria, Louisiana) serving portions of the Dayton area: a fifty-mile radius in the daytime. (ten mile radius at night) plus a sister station:
  • WHJM 88.7 FM licensed in Anna, transmitting from Botkins with a live studio located in nearby Minster which serves a forty-mile radius within the Upper Miami Valley and southern portions of the Lima area. Radio Maria also streams on the internet
  • WLRU-LP 106.9 FM in Hillsboro.

Other stations reach into portions of the Archdiocese:

  • WVSG 820 AM located in Columbus "St. Gabriel Radio" (the former WOSU (AM).
  • WRDF 106.3 FM licensed in Columbia City, Indiana with studio in Fort Wayne as "Redeemer Radio" which can be heard in portions of the northwestern corner of the Archdiocese, plus an audio stream.

See also


  1. Amos, Denise Smith (5 October 2011). "Catholic leaders to share assessment of schools". The Cincinnati Enquirer. Retrieved 2011-10-28. Schools: 113 schools with 43,641 students enrolled last year. Cincinnati region includes 17 high schools, 66 elementary schools and one K-12 specialty school.
  2. "Initial Assessment Report" (PDF). Lighting the Way: A Vision for Catholic School Education for Catholic Schools. ACE Consulting, University of Notre Dame. 2011-09-13. p. 36. Retrieved 2011-10-28. ACE Consulting counts 114 schools, which includes Catholic Central School's two campuses but not DePaul Cristo Rey High School, which opened shortly before publication.
  3. "A Portrait and A History". Archdiocese of Cincinnati. Retrieved 2016-03-04.
  4. "Did You Know?". Archdiocese of Cincinnati. Retrieved 2016-03-04.
  5. Writer's Program of the WPA (1943). Guide to Cincinnati: A Guide to the Queen City and its neighbors. Cincinnati: Weisen-Hart Press. p. 218.
  6. Coday, Denis (12 December 2003). "Cincinnati archdiocese convicted for failing to report sex abuse". National Catholic Reporter. Retrieved 2007-02-23.
  12. Manning, Jim; Nicole Brainard. "About Us". Archbishop Alter High School. Archived from the original on 2011-09-03. Retrieved 2013-11-18.
  13. "About Us". Stephen T. Badin High School. Archived from the original on 2011-09-28. Retrieved 2011-03-18.
  14. Karl, J. "Welcome from the Dean". Carroll High School. Retrieved 2011-03-18.
  15. "Please Support our Mission". Catholic Central School. Retrieved 2011-03-18.
  16. "Society of Mary". Chaminade-Julienne High School. Archived from the original on 2011-02-05. Retrieved 2011-03-18.
  17. Jeanne Bessette, OSF. "Welcome from the President". DePaul Cristo Rey High School. Retrieved 2013-11-18.
  18. Elder High School Student Handbook 2010–2011 (PDF). Elder High School. 2010-09-23. p. i. Retrieved 2011-03-18.
  19. "They Are Not All The Same". Reunion. Roger Bacon High School. 38 (3): 11. Spring 2005. Archived from the original (PDF) on July 19, 2011. Retrieved 2011-03-18.
  20. "Director of Development" (PDF). Lehman Catholic High School. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2011-07-27. Retrieved 2011-03-18.
  21. Student Planner and Handbook (PDF). Archbishop McNicholas High School. 2010. p. 3. Retrieved 2011-03-18.
  22. McAuley High School Handbook and Calendar For Parents and Students (PDF). McAuley High School. 2010. p. 8. Retrieved 2011-03-18.
  23. "Basic Information". Mount Notre Dame High School. 2005. Archived from the original on 2010-12-17. Retrieved 2011-03-18.
  24. Clark, Michael D. (August 6, 2013). "Catholic high school coming to Mason". The Cincinnati Enquirer. Gannett Company. Retrieved August 16, 2013. On Tuesday, school officials will announce Royalmont’s addition of grades 9-12 in the 2014-15 school year.
  25. Amos, Denise Smith (2011-03-11). "Q&A with James Rigg, superintendent of schools". The Cincinnati Enquirer. Retrieved 2011-03-18. With the exception of St. Rita School for the Deaf, which is controlled by an independent board, there are three kinds of Catholic high schools in the Archdiocese of Cincinnati...
  26. "Development Staff". Ursuline Academy. Retrieved 2011-03-18.
  27. Amos, Denise Smith (7 October 2011). "Catholic schools seek to add pupils". The Cincinnati Enquirer. Retrieved 2011-10-28. Even so, Cincinnati's archdiocese still boasts the nation's eighth largest Catholic school system, with more than 43,600 students.
  28. Alltucker, Ken (2002-10-20). "Tristaters put stock in private schools". The Cincinnati Enquirer. p. A1. Retrieved 2007-10-21.
  29. Cassano, Rick (August 12, 2013). "GCL formally announces new 18-school alignment". Dayton Daily News. Retrieved August 16, 2013.
  30. Amos, Denise Smith (2011-03-10). "Archdiocese moves to unify 113 schools". The Cincinnati Enquirer. Retrieved 2011-03-18. The Cincinnati Archdiocese has for the first time in its 189-year history taken steps to unify its system of Catholic schools under one vision and operation, archdiocesan leaders said Wednesday.
  31. "Archdiocese announces interim superintendent". The Catholic Telegraph. September 2, 2015. Retrieved October 12, 2015.
  32. Rubinstein, Marion (March 23, 1958). "The First Six Years Are Important". Ocala Star-Banner All Florida Magazine. 6 (10). p. 3. Retrieved 2016-03-03.
  33. Ford, Harvey (6 October 1964). "School Overflow Big Problem". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. p. 5. Retrieved 2016-03-04.
  34. "Former School Superintendent, Chaplain Dead At 90" (Press release). Archdiocese of Cincinnati. 9 May 2008. Retrieved 2016-03-04.
  35. "Nun to Head schools in Cincinnati Diocese". Toledo Blade. Associated Press. 19 May 1983. Retrieved 2016-03-04.
  36. S. Mary Bodde. "Features: Meet Our Sisters - S. Kathryn Ann Connelly". Sisters of Charity of Cincinnati. Retrieved 2016-03-04.
  37. "Catholic School Chief to Leave Post" (Press release). Archdiocese of Cincinnati. 13 November 2009. Retrieved 2016-03-04.
  38. "Dr. Jim Rigg Leaving as School Superintendent" (Press release). Archdiocese of Cincinnati. 27 August 2015. Retrieved 2016-03-04.

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