Roger Joseph Foys

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His Excellency, The Most Reverend
Roger Joseph Foys
Bishop of Covington
Bishop Roger Foys preaches at an ordination.png
Bishop Foys in 2013
Archdiocese Louisville
Diocese Covington
Appointed May 31, 2002
Installed July 15, 2002
Predecessor Robert William Muench
Ordination May 16, 1973
by Anthony John King Mussio
Consecration July 15, 2002
by Thomas C. Kelly, Gilbert Sheldon and Robert William Muench
Personal details
Born (1945-07-27) July 27, 1945 (age 71)
Chicago, Illinois
Nationality American
Denomination Roman Catholic
Alma mater Franciscan University of Steubenville
(Let Your Light Shine)
Styles of
Roger Joseph Foys
Coat of arms of Roger Joseph Foyss.svg
Reference style
Spoken style Your Excellency
Religious style Bishop

Roger Joseph Foys is the tenth bishop of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Covington, in Kentucky, United States. Foys was ordained a priest in 1973 in the Diocese of Steubenville; he served there until he was installed as Bishop of Covington on July 15, 2002.

Early life and priesthood[edit]

On July 27, 1945, Roger Joseph Foys was born in Chicago, Illinois. He began his religious studies for the Diocese of Steubenville at St. John Vianney Seminary in Bloomingdale, Ohio, part of the Franciscan University of Steubenville. He completed his graduate studies at The Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C. and the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome.

Bishop Anthony John King Mussio ordained Father Foys on May 16, 1973 in Holy Name Cathedral of Steubenville, Ohio. Throughout his years with the Diocese of Steubenville, Father Foys served as Diocesan Treasurer, Chairman of the Diocesan Presbyteral Council, and Moderator of the Curia. He was appointed Vicar General in 1982 and made a monsignor in 1987. He also taught Canon Law for one year at St. John Vianney Seminary. Pope John Paul II made him a Prelate of Honor in 1986 and a Protonotary Apostolic in 2001.

Episcopal career[edit]

Monsignor Foys was appointed Bishop of Covington on May 31, 2002 by Pope John Paul II and was consecrated at the Cathedral Basilica of the Assumption on July 15, 2002.[1]

Sex abuse scandal[edit]

Bishop Foys came to the Diocese of Covington as it was in the midst of a class action lawsuit concerning the sexual abuse of minor by over 80 diocesan employees including priests.[2] The lawsuit was filed one day before Bishop Foys was appointed by the pope to the See of Covington. The claim was originally for $50 million,[3] but eventually grew to be much more over the ensuing years of litigation.

Bishop Foys vowed to meet with every victim of abuse who was willing to meet saying, "Those harmed by these shameful, despicable deeds now need the institutional Church and, more importantly, the pastoral Church to provide as much comfort and peace as possible. Our hearts must remain open, like Christ's".[4] He eventually met with over 70 victims of abuse personally and agree to create a system of payment where victims who were abused between 1948 and 1998 could receive compensation while not having to undergo the process of a trial.[citation needed]

The settlement eventually cost the diocese $120 million; $80 million of which came from insurance while $40 million came from the mortgage of diocesan properties (most notably Catholic Center/Marydale property in Erlanger). No parish properties were affected by the settlement. Each victim received between $5,000 and $450,000 depending on the severity of their case. Bishop Foys said "While no amount of money can compensate for the atrocities that were committed here, I pray that this settlement will bring victims some measure of peace and healing to victims and their loved ones".[citation needed]


The number of priestly vocations in the Diocese dramatically increased under his tenure. This can possibly be attributed to the fact that the Bishop was a vocation director in Diocese of Steubenville and devotes significant diocesan resources to vocation promotion, including the hiring of a full-time Vocation Promoter (Father Greg Bach) for the Diocese.[5] As of 2013, the diocese had 28 seminarians studying for the priesthood.[6]

Pater Noster Controversy[edit]

In anticipation of the release of the Third Edition of the Roman Missal and General Instruction of the Roman Missal, Bishop Foys issued a decree that discourages the laity's holding hands during the Pater Noster (or "Our Father") at the celebration of Mass. The decree states, "Special note should also be made concerning the gesture for the Our Father. Only the priest is given the instruction to "extend" his hands. Neither the deacon nor the lay faithful are instructed to do this. No gesture is prescribed for the lay faithful in the Roman Missal; nor the General Instruction of the Roman Missal, therefore the extending or holding of hands by the faithful should not be performed."[7] The decree caused controversy both in the diocese[8] and across the country.[9]

Coat of arms[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Most Rev. Roger Joseph Foys, D.D.". Diocese of Covington. Retrieved February 5, 2012. 
  2. ^ McKee, Tom (June 6, 2010). "Covington Diocese sex abuse settlement - 1 year later". Retrieved February 5, 2012. 
  3. ^ O'Neill, Tom (July 15, 2002). "Bishop Foys says he won't be silent". The Cincinnati Enquirer. Retrieved February 5, 2012. 
  4. ^ Foys, Roger Joseph (June 2005). "Letter from Bishop Foys About Abuse Cases". Diocese of Covington. Retrieved February 5, 2012. 
  5. ^ Ziegler, Jeff (December 2007). "Priestly Vocations in America: Recent Trends". The Catholic World Report. Archived from the original on September 18, 2010. 
  6. ^ "Vocations Supplement" (PDF). The Messenger. 11 January 2013. Retrieved 15 May 2013. 
  7. ^ Gibson, David (1 December 2011). "'Our Father' update: No hands please, we're laity". Commonweal. Retrieved 15 May 2013. 
  8. ^ Warren, Jay (30 November 2011). "Covington Bishop: No Holding Hands at Mass". Kentucky Post. 
  9. ^ "From the Bishop of Covington, Kentucky". Pray Tell. Retrieved 15 May 2013. 
  10. ^

External links[edit]

Episcopal succession[edit]

Catholic Church titles
Preceded by
Robert William Muench
Bishop of Covington
Succeeded by