Archbishop Joseph E. Kurtz steps down as Chair of Committee for Religious Liberty amidst cancer treatment; Bishop Robert J. McManus of Worcester to serve as Acting Chair of the Committee

The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB)

July 23, 2019

WASHINGTON— Cardinal Daniel N. DiNardo of Galveston-Houston, President of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, has appointed Bishop Robert J. McManus to serve as Acting Chair of the USCCB’s Committee for Religious Liberty until the November 2019 General Assembly. The appointment was made following the resignation of Archbishop Joseph E. Kurtz, D.D., of Louisville, previous chair of the committee, after his diagnosis with urothelial carcinoma.

Cardinal DiNardo stated: “We are praying for Archbishop Kurtz, especially as he undergoes an intense treatment plan at Duke Cancer Institute over these next several weeks and months. I very much appreciate Bishop McManus’s agreeing to step into this chairmanship role and lead the important work of the Committee for Religious Liberty.”

Bishop McManus served as Chair of the Subcommittee on Health Care Issues from 2012 to 2018 and served as Chair of the Committee on Catholic Education from 2005 to 2008.  He has served as a member of the Committee on Doctrine since 2001 and has previously served as a member of the Committee on Pro-Life Activities and the Committee on Budget and Finance.

Robert J. McManus was born July 5, 1951 in Providence, Rhode Island. He was ordained a priest on May 27, 1978, an Auxiliary Bishop of Providence on February 22, 1999, and was installed as Bishop of Worcester on May 14, 2004. Bishop McManus holds Bachelor and Master of Arts degrees in philosophy from The Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C., and he holds a Master of Divinity from the Toronto School of Theology. He has also earned licentiate and doctoral degrees in sacred theology from The Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome.

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