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Associated PressFebruary 09, 2022
This photo provided by Diocese of Houma-Thibodaux shows Most Reverend Shelton J. Fabre. (Diocese of Houma-Thibodaux via AP)

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) — A Louisiana bishop who has led efforts against racism was named on Tuesday as the archbishop for the Archdiocese of Louisville in Kentucky.

The Most Reverend Shelton J. Fabre has served as bishop of the Diocese of Houma-Thibodaux since 2013. His appointment was announced by Pope Francis.

Fabre, who is Black, serves as the chair of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Ad Hoc Committee Against Racism and led the writing of the U.S. Bishops’ most recent pastoral letter on racism, a statement from the Archdiocese of Louisville said.

Before being named as bishop, Fabre was ordained as an auxiliary bishop for the Archdiocese of New Orleans in 2007. Prior to that, he served as a priest in the Diocese of Baton Rouge and as director of the Office of Black Catholics for the Diocese of Baton Rouge from 1990 to 2005.

Fabre, who is Black, serves as the chair of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Ad Hoc Committee Against Racism and led the writing of the U.S. Bishops’ most recent pastoral letter on racism.

Fabre succeeds Archbishop Joseph E. Kurtz, who has served in the role since 2007. Kurtz, who turned 75 last year, sent a resignation letter to Pope Francis. Roman Catholic bishops are required to send in their resignation at age 75.

“I give thanks for the privilege to have served as Archbishop of Louisville, I know in my heart that Pope Francis has given a great gift to the wonderful Archdiocese and Province of Louisville by appointing a true servant of Jesus Christ,” Kurtz said in a statement.

The Louisville archdiocese includes 24 Kentucky counties and counts more than 200,000 Catholics as members.

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