Dennis Marion Schnurr

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Dennis Marion Schnurr
Archbishop of Cincinnati
Schnurr in 2023.
AppointedOctober 17, 2008 (Coadjutor)
InstalledDecember 21, 2009
PredecessorDaniel Edward Pilarczyk
OrdinationJuly 20, 1974
by Frank Henry Greteman
ConsecrationApril 2, 2001
by Harry Joseph Flynn, Gabriel Montalvo Higuera, and Lawrence Donald Soens
Personal details
Born (1948-06-21) June 21, 1948 (age 75)
DenominationRoman Catholic
Previous post(s)
Motto"Quaerite faciem Domini"
(Seek the face of the Lord)
Styles of
Dennis Marion Schnurr
Reference style
Spoken styleYour Excellency
Religious styleArchbishop
Ordination history of
Dennis Marion Schnurr
Episcopal consecration
Consecrated byHarry Joseph Flynn (St Paul & Minn.)
DateApril 2, 2001
Episcopal succession
Bishops consecrated by Dennis Marion Schnurr as principal consecrator
Joseph R. BinzerJune 9, 2011
Jeffrey Marc MonfortonSeptember 10, 2012
David J. BonnarJanuary 12, 2021
Earl K. FernandesMay 31, 2022

Dennis Marion Schnurr (born June 21, 1948) is an American prelate of the Roman Catholic Church who has served as the archbishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati in Ohio since 2009. He served as bishop of the Diocese of Duluth in Minnesota from 2001 to 2009.


Early life and education[edit]

Dennis Schnurr was born on June 21, 1948, in Sheldon, Iowa, to Edward and Eleanor (née Jungers) Schnurr. One of six children, he has two brothers and three sisters. Raised in Hospers, Iowa, he attended Spalding Catholic High School in Granville, Iowa, before entering Loras College in Dubuque, Iowa. Schnurr graduated from Loras with a Bachelor of Arts in 1970. He then went to Rome, where he earned a Master of Theology degree in 1974 from the Pontifical Gregorian University.[1]

Ordination and ministry[edit]

Schnurr was ordained to the priesthood by Bishop Frank Greteman on July 20, 1974, for the Diocese of Sioux City.[2] After his ordination, Schnurr was assigned as an associate pastor at the Cathedral of the Epiphany Parish and Blessed Sacrament Parish, both in Sioux City, Iowa, for the next three years.

In 1977, Schnurr went to Washington, D.C. to study at the Catholic University of America School of Canon Law, receiving a Doctorate of Canon Law in 1980. After graduation, he returned to Sioux City to become vice-chancellor of the diocese. In 1981, Schnurr was named chancellor, the diocesan finance officer (1980–1985), a judge on the diocesan tribunal (1980–1985), and secretary of the presbyteral council (1981–1985).[3]

In 1985, Schnurr was assigned to the staff of the Apostolic Nunciature in Washington, D.C.[4] He served as associate general secretary of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) from 1989 to 1995; during his tenure, he supervised those departments dealing with education, domestic and international social policy, and communications. Schnurr organized the 1993 World Youth Day[5] in Denver, Colorado. He was raised by the Vatican to the rank of prelate of honor in 1993 as well, and elected general secretary of the USCCB in 1994.[3]

Bishop of Duluth[edit]

On January 18, 2001, Schnurr was appointed as the eighth bishop of the Diocese of Duluth by Pope John Paul II.[2][4] He received his episcopal consecration on April 2, 2001, from Archbishop Harry Flynn, with Archbishop Gabriel Higuera and Bishop Lawrence Soens serving as co-consecrators. Schnurr selected as his episcopal motto: Quaerite faciem Domini, meaning, "Seek the face of the Lord" from Psalms 105:4.[2]

Coadjutor Archbishop and Archbishop of Cincinnati[edit]

Schnurr was named coadjutor archbishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati by Pope Benedict XVI on October 17, 2008.[2][4] As coadjutor, Schnurr automatically succeeded Archbishop Pilarczyk when he retired on December 21, 2009. On January 21, 2017, Schnurr expressed his opposition to the refugee ban on people from certain Muslim majority nations that was enacted by the Trump administration. Schnurr said that refugees had a right to seek a safe place for themselves and their families.[6]

In 2010, Schnurr revoked archdiocese permission for a "Violence Against Women" event at Seton High School in Cincinnati because one of the speakers supported abortion rights for women. The sponsors disinvited the speaker, but the archdiocese still denied its support for the event.[7]

On November 21, 2018, Schnurr expressed "enormous disappointment" at a Vatican request for the USCCB to delay a vote on a measure tightening procedures for sexual abuses case. The Vatican said it wanted to consider a global response first.[8] In August 2019, Schnurr removed Auxiliary Bishop Joseph Binzer from his position as the head of priest personnel. Geoff Drew, a priest in St. Jude Parish, had raped a 10-year-old boy between 1988 and 1991. After learning about these allegations, Binzer failed to report them to the archbishop or other officials in the archdiocese. Binzer resigned as auxiliary bishop in May 2020.[9][10]

In May 2020, Schnurr decided not to renew the contract of Jim Zimmerman, a teacher at Archbishop Alter High School in Kettering, Ohio, because he was part of a same-sex marriage. A teacher at the school for 23 years, Zimmerman was open about his marriage with school officials, other faculty and students. According to Zimmerman, his principal told him that a community member had alerted Schnurr about the marriage. Zimmerman's supporters at Alter High School and in Kettering accused Schnurr of homophobia, which he strongly denied.[11][12][13]

On July 20, 2021, Schnurr said that he disapproved of a town hall being held by President Joe Biden at Mount Saint Joseph University in Cincinnati, but admitted he had no power to block it. Schnurr did not explain his reasoning.[14] Schnurr said that he would have never approved this event on archdiocese property.[15]

In October 2021, Schnurr announced a plan for the restructuring of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati that could result in 70% of churches in the diocese closing.[16]



In June 2015, Schnurr expressed his unhappiness with the U.S. Supreme Court decision legalizing same-sex marriage in the United States.[17] He made this statement:

Under the false banner of "marriage equality," the United States Supreme Court today redefined marriage by judicial fiat. In so doing, it has disregarded not only the clearly expressed will of the electorate in Ohio and other states, but also an understanding of marriage that was shared by virtually all cultures – secular as well as religious – until recently.[17]

In February 2015, Schnurr condemned the 2015 film Fifty Shades of Grey, calling it an attack on marriage, and asked people to boycott it.[18]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Fox, Joanne (December 26, 2009). "Hospers native Archbishop of Cincinnati". Sioux City Journal. Retrieved July 1, 2014.
  2. ^ a b c d "Archbishop Dennis Marion Schnurr". David M. Cheney. Retrieved January 21, 2015.
  3. ^ a b "Our Shepherd and His Archdiocese". Cathedral of St. Peter in Chains. Retrieved December 26, 2021.
  4. ^ a b c "Archbishop Schnurr - Archdiocese of Cincinnati". Archdiocese of Cincinnati. Retrieved October 6, 2021.
  5. ^ Ho, Dan (October 18, 2008). "Duluth's bishop to lead Catholics". Cincinnati Enquirer. ProQuest 237640007.
  6. ^ Horn, Dan. "Archbishop: Refugees need 'special path'". The Enquirer. Retrieved December 26, 2021.
  7. ^ "Cincinnati bishop among sponsors to pull support from women's conference". National Catholic Reporter. April 29, 2010. Archived from the original on August 14, 2020. Retrieved April 23, 2022.
  8. ^ Garbe, Will. "Cincy archbishop 'stunned' by Vatican request to delay sex abuse vote". dayton-daily-news. Retrieved December 26, 2021.
  9. ^ CNA. "Former auxiliary bishop who mishandled abuse reports named pastor in Cincinnati". Catholic News Agency. Retrieved December 26, 2021.
  10. ^ "St. Max mom took Cincy archbishop to task about priest's 'red flags' a year before rape accusations surfaced". WCPO. August 23, 2019. Retrieved December 26, 2021.
  11. ^ Horn, Dan. "Cincinnati's archbishop defends firing of Catholic high school teacher who is gay". The Enquirer. Retrieved December 26, 2021.
  12. ^ "Gay teacher ousted from Catholic school after 23 years". Sentinel-Tribune. Archived from the original on December 26, 2021. Retrieved December 26, 2021.
  13. ^ "Ohio teacher in same-sex marriage loses Catholic high school job". National Catholic Reporter. May 8, 2020. Retrieved December 26, 2021.
  14. ^ CNA (July 20, 2021). "Archbishop: I would not have approved Biden's visit to Catholic university". Catholic News Agency. Retrieved December 26, 2021.
  15. ^ CNA. "Archbishop: I would not have approved Biden's visit to Catholic university". Catholic News Agency. Retrieved April 23, 2022.
  16. ^ "Schnurr gets started". The Pillar. October 1, 2021. Retrieved August 7, 2023.
  17. ^ a b Telegraph, The Catholic. "Archbishop Schnurr reacts to SCOTUS ruling on same-sex marriage". Catholic Telegraph. Retrieved April 23, 2022.
  18. ^ Horn, Sharon Coolidge and Dan. "Archbishop calls boycott: '50 Shades' attacks marriage". USA Today. Retrieved April 23, 2022.

External links[edit]

Catholic Church titles
Preceded by Archbishop of Cincinnati
Preceded by Bishop of Duluth
Succeeded by