Roman Catholic Diocese of Covington

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Diocese of Covington
Dioecesis Covingtonensis
Coat of Arms of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Covington.svg
Coat of arms of the Diocese of Covington
Country United States
Territory Northern Kentucky
Ecclesiastical province Archdiocese of Louisville
Metropolitan Covington, Kentucky
Area 3,359 sq mi (8,700 km2)
- Total
- Catholics

92,456 (18%)
Parishes 47
Schools 38
Denomination Roman Catholic
Rite Roman Rite
Established July 29, 1853
Cathedral Cathedral Basilica of the Assumption
Patron saint St. Paul the Apostle
Current leadership
Pope Francis
Bishop Roger Joseph Foys
Bishop of Covington
Metropolitan Archbishop Joseph Edward Kurtz
Archbishop of Louisville
Diocese of Covington.jpg
Cathedral Basilica of the Assumption

The Roman Catholic Diocese of Covington (Latin: Dioecesis Covingtonensis) is a Roman Catholic diocese in Northern Kentucky, covering 3,359 square miles (8,700 km2) that includes the city of Covington and the following Kentucky counties: Boone, Kenton, Campbell, Gallatin, Carroll, Grant, Owen, Pendleton, Harrison, Bracken, Robertson, Mason, Fleming, and Lewis. The current bishop is the Most Reverend Roger Joseph Foys, D.D. The cathedral church of the diocese is the Cathedral Basilica of the Assumption.


The diocese was founded on July 29, 1853 by Pope Pius IX. Installed as the first bishop of Covington was the sitting president of Xavier University in Cincinnati, Father George Aloysius Carrell, S.J. The diocese originally consisted of the eastern half of Kentucky, with the Diocese of Louisville containing the western half.

Historically, the diocese was composed primarily of descendants of German immigrants to the towns of Covington and Newport in the mid-19th century, who came after the revolutions of 1848. The Catholic communities of both Cincinnati and Louisville had a similar demographic. Much of the parish architecture in the diocese reflects this German cultural heritage.

In 1988, the southern portion of the diocese was incorporated into the new Diocese of Lexington.

Sexual abuse scandal[edit]

In the early 21st century, the Roman Catholic Church in the United States was revealed to have covered up widespread sexual abuse of minors by priests that occurred in numerous dioceses; the scandal was first investigated in Boston, Massachusetts. In 2005 the Diocese of Covington announced that it had settled with more than 100 victims of sexual abuse by paying approximately $120 million.

The diocese agreed that any person who claimed to have been sexually abused by a member of the clergy or a lay employee could seek compensation no matter how long ago alleged abuse occurred. Under terms of the settlement, victims would be placed into one of four categories, depending upon the severity of their abuse. Payments would range from $5,000 to $450,000 for each victim, minus attorneys' fees.

This was the largest settlement for any Roman Catholic diocese in the United States at the time. The diocese acquired $40 million by liquidating real estate assets, including the Marydale Retreat Center in Erlanger, and other investments. The remaining $80 million was paid by its insurance carriers.[1]

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."[2]


The list of ordinaries of the diocese and their years of service:

  1. George Aloysius Carrell, S.J. (1853–1868)
  2. Augustus Toebbe (1869–1884)
  3. Camillus Paul Maes (1884–1915)
  4. Ferdinand Brossart (1915–1923)
  5. Francis William Howard (1923–1944)
  6. William Theodore Mulloy (1944–1959)
  7. Richard Henry Ackerman, C.S.Sp. (1960–1978)
  8. William Anthony Hughes (1979–1995)
  9. Robert William Muench (1996–2001)
  10. Roger Joseph Foys (2002—)

† = deceased


As of 2013, the diocese held 92,456 Catholics out of a population of 513,971, about 18% of the population of its territory. The diocese contains 47 parishes and 6 missions in 14 counties, the majority of which are concentrated in Boone, Kenton, and Campbell Counties. As of 2006, there were 83 diocesan priests, 9 religious priests, 28 permanent deacons, 346 religious sisters, and 16 religious brothers.[3] The diocese also supports a private collegial institution, Thomas More College in Crestview Hills. In addition, the diocese also administers six area medical centers under the St. Elizabeth Healthcare system. The diocese also administers 28 cemeteries.


Education system[edit]

The Diocese of Covington contains 39 educational institutions. They are administered either independently, by the diocesan school board, by the parish with which they are affiliated, or by a religious order. In total, in 2013 there were 14,284 students under Catholic instruction.


High schools[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Huffstutter, P.J. (June 2005). "Kentucky diocese agrees to $120 million settlement". The Baltimore Sun. Retrieved February 5, 2012. 
  2. ^ Foys, Roger Joseph (June 2005). "Letter from Bishop Foys About Abuse Cases". Diocese of Covington. Retrieved February 5, 2012. 
  3. ^ "Covington (Diocese of Covington)". Retrieved 12 November 2013. 

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 39°03′54″N 84°30′35″W / 39.06500°N 84.50972°W / 39.06500; -84.50972