MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) - The person Pope Francis appointed to oversee the Catholic Diocese of Memphis says he hopes a new bishop will be named next spring or summer.
Archbishop Joseph Kurtz of Louisville sat down with WMC5 on Friday afternoon after spending most of this week in Memphis, where he was named Apostolic Administrator after the removal of Memphis Bishop Martin Holley.
Pope Francis took the highly unusual step back in October of dismissing Holley for mismanagement of the 21 county diocese.
Archbishop Kurtz said three candidates will be nominated for Bishop of Memphis and at some point in the next year, Pope Francis will make the appointment.
“Coming from Louisville, we have a little horse race every year where we do some betting,” Archbishop Kurtz said. “I’m not betting on it being a year. Now if we do, we'll need another interview come July."
Due to a tidal wave of complaints about Bishop Holley's leadership as well as decisions by his right hand man, Monsignor Clement Machado, the Vatican sent two Archbishops to investigate this summer.
Pope Francis took the highly unusual step of removing Bishop Holley in October.
"I told our priests last night listen this is a chance for us to come together and renew our gift in unity and community with one another and in service to the people of God,” Archbishop Kurtz said.
Archbishop Kurtz says three candidates for Memphis Bishop will be nominated at the Vatican.
Pope Francis then will select one of them, but no one knows precisely when.
"If it’s up to me, it’ll be quick because I want to welcome the next Bishop,” Archbishop Kurtz said. “I said I don’t know if I’m going to have a surprise in February or July.”