Archdiocese of Cincinnati

Archidiœcesis Cincinnatensis
Cathedral Basilica of Saint Peter in Chains
Coat of arms
Country United 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 (including non-members)
(as of 2013)
471,457 (15.3%)
Sui iuris churchLatin Church
RiteRoman Rite
EstablishedJune 19, 1821 (200 years ago)
CathedralCathedral Basilica of Saint Peter in Chains
Patron saintSt. Francis de Sales
Current leadership
ArchbishopDennis Marion Schnurr
Bishops emeritusJoseph R. Binzer

The Archdiocese of Cincinnati (Latin: Archidiœcesis Cincinnatensis) is a Latin Church ecclesiastical jurisdiction or archdiocese that 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. The Archdiocese of Cincinnati is the metropolitan see of its province, with five suffragan dioceses.[3]


Province of Cincinnati
Province of Cincinnati

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.[4][5] The mother church is the Cathedral Basilica 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. The diocese originally included the entire state of Ohio as well as the Michigan Territory. At the time, it included several thousand Native American Catholics as well as European settlers.

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. Finally, in 1945, nine counties on the eastern edge of the Archdiocese were annexed to the Diocese of Columbus, resulting in the Archdiocese's current geographic boundaries.

Parish Development

Cincinnati's first church, named Christ Church, was organized in 1819, just beyond the city boundaries. Soon additional parishes were formed in Dayton, Hamilton, and St. Martin, Brown County.

As the number of German Catholic immigrants increased, Holy Trinity Church was formed in Cincinnati, the first Catholic parish for Germans west of the Allegheny Mountains. By the mid-nineteenth century, a system of national parishes, especially evident in Cincinnati and Dayton, took shape, providing separate churches for Italian, Hungarian, Polish, Lithuanian and Syrian Catholics.

Ethnic-specific parishes continued to be formed until World War I when Archbishop Moeller successfully petitioned Rome for an end to national parishes and permission to formulate parish boundaries.

Religious Orders

The Archdiocese of Cincinnati has been served by numerous women's religious orders, including the Sisters of Charity, Precious Blood Sisters, Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur, Sisters of Mercy, Little Sisters of the Poor, Ursulines, and Sisters of St. Joseph. The congregations and orders of male religious in the Archdiocese include the Order of Friars Minor (Franciscans), Society of Jesus (Jesuits), Missionaries of the Precious Blood, Society of Mary (Marianists), Comboni Missionaries, Glenmary Home Missioners, and Holy Ghost Fathers (Spiritans). Members of these communities staff schools and parishes and serve in a variety of social service roles.

Many of the religious communities in the Archdiocese owe their presence in part to Sarah Worthington King Peter, a prominent Catholic convert and philanthropist, who in the mid-nineteenth century helped finance the relocation of sisters from Europe to Cincinnati.[6]

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.[7] The court rendered no criminal judgment on the allegations themselves, only on the diocese's failure to report the allegations. The Archdiocese of Cincinnati was also fined $10,000 after being found guilty of failing to report sexually abusive priests in the 1970s and 1980s.[8][9]

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 was removed from his position as head of priest personnel, while the archdiocese begins its own investigation.[10] Geoff Drew, the priest who Binzer had protected, had previously faced allegations in other parishes.[10] On August 19, 2019, local authorities arrested Drew and charged him with nine counts of sex abuse.[11][12][13] In May 2020, the Vatican accepted Binzer's resignation as auxiliary bishop.[14]


Main article: List of churches in the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Cincinnati


Bishops of Cincinnati

  1. Edward Fenwick, O.P. (1822–1833)
  2. John Baptist Purcell (1833–1850), elevated to Archbishop

Archbishops of Cincinnati

  1. John Baptist Purcell (1850–1883)
  2. William Henry Elder (1883–1903; coadjutor archbishop 1880-1883)
  3. Henry K. Moeller (1903–1925; coadjutor archbishop 1903)
    - Joseph Chartrand (Appointed 1925, did not take effect)
  4. John Timothy McNicholas O.P. (1925–1950)
  5. Karl Joseph Alter (1950–1969)
  6. Paul Francis Leibold (1969–1972)
  7. Joseph Bernardin (1972–1982), appointed Archbishop of Chicago (Cardinal in 1983)
  8. Daniel Edward Pilarczyk (1982–2009)
  9. Dennis Marion Schnurr (2009–present; coadjutor archbishop 2008-2009)

Former auxiliary bishops of Cincinnati

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
Name Gender Location Ownership
Alter Co-ed Kettering Archdiocesan[15]
Badin Co-ed Hamilton Interparochial[16]
Carroll Co-ed Dayton Archdiocesan[17]
Catholic Central Co-ed Springfield Archdiocesan[18]
Chaminade-Julienne Co-ed Dayton Marianists,
Srs. of Notre Dame[19]
DePaul Cristo Rey Co-ed Cincinnati Srs. of Charity[20]
Elder Male Cincinnati Interparochial[21]
Fenwick Co-ed Middletown Archdiocesan
La Salle Male Cincinnati Archdiocesan[22]
Lehman Catholic Co-ed Sidney Archdiocesan[23]
McNicholas Co-ed Cincinnati Interparochial[24]
Mercy McAuley Female Cincinnati Interparochial[25]
Moeller Male Cincinnati Marianist
Mount Notre Dame Female Cincinnati Interparochial[26]
Purcell Marian Co-ed Cincinnati Archdiocesan[22]
Royalmont Academy[27] Co-ed Mason Independent
Roger Bacon Co-ed Cincinnati Interparochial[22]
Seton Female Cincinnati Parochial
St. Rita Co-ed Cincinnati Independent[28]
St. Ursula Academy Female Cincinnati Independent (Ursulines)
St. Xavier Male Cincinnati Jesuit
Summit Country Day Co-ed Cincinnati Independent
Ursuline Female Cincinnati Independent[29]

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.[30] 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.[31]

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).[28] 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.[32]

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.[33] As of 2015, the interim Superintendent of Catholic Schools is Susie Gibbons.[34]

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.




The Archdiocese publishes a monthly magazine, The Catholic Telegraph. It began publishing as a weekly newspaper in 1831, making it the first diocesan newspaper and second oldest Catholic newspaper in the United States, and converted to magazine format in 2020. 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

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

Other stations reach into portions of the Archdiocese:

See also


  1. ^ a b 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. ^ a b "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. ^ "Metropolitan Archdiocese of Cincinnati". GCatholic. Retrieved 10 July 2021.
  4. ^ "A Portrait and A History". Archdiocese of Cincinnati. Retrieved 2016-03-04.
  5. ^ "Did You Know?". Archdiocese of Cincinnati. Retrieved 2016-03-04.
  6. ^ "The Mother of the Church in Cincinnati | Archdiocese of Cincinnati". Retrieved 2020-10-07.
  7. ^ Coday, Denis (12 December 2003). "Cincinnati archdiocese convicted for failing to report sex abuse". National Catholic Reporter. Retrieved 2007-02-23.
  8. ^
  9. ^
  10. ^ a b
  11. ^
  12. ^
  13. ^
  14. ^ "Bishop Joseph R. Binzer Resigns as Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati". The Catholic Telegraph. May 7, 2020. Retrieved May 7, 2020.
  15. ^ Manning, Jim; Nicole Brainard. "About Us". Archbishop Alter High School. Archived from the original on 2011-09-03. Retrieved 2013-11-18.
  16. ^ "About Us". Stephen T. Badin High School. Archived from the original on 2011-09-28. Retrieved 2011-03-18.
  17. ^ Karl, J. "Welcome from the Dean". Carroll High School. Retrieved 2011-03-18.
  18. ^ "Please Support our Mission". Catholic Central School. Retrieved 2011-03-18.
  19. ^ "Society of Mary". Chaminade-Julienne High School. Archived from the original on 2011-02-05. Retrieved 2011-03-18.
  20. ^ Jeanne Bessette, OSF. "Welcome from the President". DePaul Cristo Rey High School. Retrieved 2013-11-18.
  21. ^ Elder High School Student Handbook 2010–2011 (PDF). Elder High School. 2010-09-23. p. i. Retrieved 2011-03-18.
  22. ^ a b c "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.
  23. ^ "Director of Development" (PDF). Lehman Catholic High School. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2011-07-27. Retrieved 2011-03-18.
  24. ^ Student Planner and Handbook (PDF). Archbishop McNicholas High School. 2010. p. 3. Retrieved 2011-03-18.
  25. ^ McAuley High School Handbook and Calendar For Parents and Students (PDF). McAuley High School. 2010. p. 8. Retrieved 2011-03-18.
  26. ^ "Basic Information". Mount Notre Dame High School. 2005. Archived from the original on 2010-12-17. Retrieved 2011-03-18.
  27. ^ 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.
  28. ^ a b 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...
  29. ^ "Development Staff". Ursuline Academy. Retrieved 2011-03-18.
  30. ^ 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.
  31. ^ Alltucker, Ken (2002-10-20). "Tristaters put stock in private schools". The Cincinnati Enquirer. p. A1. Retrieved 2007-10-21.
  32. ^ Cassano, Rick (August 12, 2013). "GCL formally announces new 18-school alignment". Dayton Daily News. Retrieved August 16, 2013.
  33. ^ 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.
  34. ^ "Archdiocese announces interim superintendent". The Catholic Telegraph. September 2, 2015. Retrieved October 12, 2015.
  35. ^ 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.
  36. ^ Ford, Harvey (6 October 1964). "School Overflow Big Problem". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. p. 5. Retrieved 2016-03-04.
  37. ^ "Former School Superintendent, Chaplain Dead At 90" (Press release). Archdiocese of Cincinnati. 9 May 2008. Retrieved 2016-03-04.
  38. ^ "Nun to Head schools in Cincinnati Diocese". Toledo Blade. Associated Press. 19 May 1983. Retrieved 2016-03-04.
  39. ^ S. Mary Bodde. "Features: Meet Our Sisters - S. Kathryn Ann Connelly". Sisters of Charity of Cincinnati. Retrieved 2016-03-04.
  40. ^ "Catholic School Chief to Leave Post" (Press release). Archdiocese of Cincinnati. 13 November 2009. Retrieved 2016-03-04.
  41. ^ "Dr. Jim Rigg Leaving as School Superintendent" (Press release). Archdiocese of Cincinnati. 27 August 2015. Retrieved 2016-03-04.

Coordinates: 39°06′18″N 84°30′44″W / 39.10500°N 84.51222°W / 39.10500; -84.51222