During the Chrism Mass at the Cathedral Basilica of Saints Peter and Paul today, Archbishop Nelson J. Pérez announced that Reverend Philip G. Bochanski has been appointed Vicar General and Moderator of the Curia for the Archdiocese of Philadelphia effective June 19. He will succeed Reverend Monsignor Daniel J. Kutys, who has served in that role since July 2012.
In sharing this news Archbishop Pérez said, “Caring for the spiritual and temporal needs of more than 1.5 million Catholics in Archdiocese of Philadelphia is a tremendous responsibility and no one can do that alone. I’m blessed to have the support and assistance of the auxiliary bishops and my senior staff in that work.
Over the last eleven years, Monsignor Kutys, has quietly, ably, and humbly served as Vicar General and Moderator of the Curia. He generously shared his talents in service to God’s people as a key figure in the governance and administration of the Archdiocese during that time. He did so with grace and calm during some of the most challenging periods in the history of our local Church and we all owe him our deep thanks.
As we thank Monsignor and wish him well, I ask you to join me welcoming his successor. The new Vicar General and Moderator of the Curia is with us here today and it is Father Philip Bochanski. He will take over in June. Father Bochanski has served our Church at the local and national levels for nearly 25 years as a parish priest, high school religion teacher, a spiritual director, a chaplain to the Philadelphia chapter of Courage, and as the Executive Director of Courage International. He is also a nationally known author who has published six books.
Father will bring a wealth of deep pastoral and administrative experience to his new role and I am so thankful that he said yes to this call. I know he will work tirelessly and joyfully for the good of our Church and I look forward to seeing what his gifts will bring to this new role.
In reaction to today’s announcement, Father Bochanski said, “I am deeply honored by Archbishop Pérez’s decision to appoint me Vicar General and Moderator of the Curia, and very grateful for the trust that he is placing in me. The significance of his announcement this morning during the Chrism Mass is not lost on me. On this anniversary of the institution of the Priesthood, all of us were invited to recommit ourselves publicly to the promises we made on the day of our ordination, including the solemn promise of respect and obedience to our Archbishop. As I receive this new assignment in a spirit of respectful and willing obedience, I am confident that the Holy Spirit will always provide the grace, wisdom and prudence I will need to carry out this role in service to God and his Church in Philadelphia.”
Contextual Background Regarding the Offices of Vicar General and Moderator of the Curia
Every diocese throughout the Roman Catholic Church is required to have at least one vicar general per The Code of Canon Law. The vicar general is required to be a priest and is the highest-ranking official in diocesan governance after the local diocesan bishop and his auxiliary bishops.
Moderator of the Curia
As Moderator of the Curia, coordinates administrative duties and serves as the chief operating officer for the administrative offices in a diocese. Using expertise, integrity, and prudence, the Moderator of the Curia is a key advisor to the local diocesan bishop regarding a variety of subjects and issues facing the local Church. He also assists in caring for the clergy and making personnel decisions.
Biographical Information on Reverend Philip G. Bochanski
Reverend Philip G. Bochanski is a priest of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia. Ordained in 1999, he has served the Church of Philadelphia as a parish priest, high school religion teacher, chaplain to consecrated religious communities, and a spiritual director for seminarians.
In 2009, Father Bochanski began serving as chaplain for the Philadelphia chapter of Courage International, a ministry of the Catholic Church that seeks to provide pastoral support for men and women experiencing same sex attraction. In 2015, he was appointed Associate Director of the Courage apostolate and moved to the Diocese of Bridgeport, where its headquarters are located. Father Bochanski was appointed Executive Director of Courage International at the beginning of 2017.
Father Bochanski is the author of six books, five sets of audio lectures, and numerous articles and book chapters addressing various topics such as Church history, spirituality, evangelization, and pastoral care. His most recent book, Wisdom of the Desert Fathers: Ancient Advice for the Modern World, was published by TAN Books in April 2020.
Father Bochanski has served as a consultant to the Subcommittee for the Promotion and Defense of Marriage, and to the Institute on the Catechism, of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops.
In December 2019, Pope Francis awarded him the Cross Pro Ecclesia et Pontifice. The ability to bestow this honor is reserved for the Supreme Pontiff and it is given in recognition of sustained and exceptional service to the Universal Church.
For additional information regarding the role of the Vicar General and Moderator of the Curia, please visit https://www.vatican.va/archive/cod-iuris-canonici/eng/documents/cic_lib2-cann460-572_en.html.
The Chrism Mass was streamed live today thanks to the generous support of the Catholic Foundation of Greater Philadelphia. The archived video can be found on Archbishop Pérez’s Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/ArchbishopPerez.
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