Louisville Archbishop Joseph Kurtz talks about time spent with P - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Louisville Archbishop Joseph Kurtz talks about time spent with Pope Francis

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- Just back from touring with the pope, Louisville Archbishop Joseph Kurtz spoke about the experience on Tuesday.

"In many ways, being with the holy father is like being on a retreat where I go back to the call I felt to become a priest," Archbishop Kurtz said. "When I'm in the presence of our holy father, I feel called to that -- to be renewed in my zeal in my humility, and in all the qualities that he talks about and models in his life."

Pope Francis visited Washington DC, New York and Philadelphia last week, marking his first trip to the United States as Pope. Archbishop Kurtz accompanied the Holy father during the entire trip. 

As President of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, Kurtz reports directly to Pope Francis. He describes the experience as five days that felt like five weeks due to the whirlwind pace of the Pontiff's tour. 

He says at times the 78-year-old seemed fatigued and reading scripture seemed to re-energize him for the day's next event. 

Kurtz also shared the moment that the Pope gave him a gift while meeting last week with bishops from around the world. 

"He, at the end of the ceremony, gave me a gift that the bishops in Cuba gave of a special statue of Our Lady of Charity of Cobre -- it's a special shrine that is in Cuba -- and this statue was given to me that I might give it in turn to the Cuban Catholics who are throughout the United States."

On Thursday, Archbishop Kurtz will head to Rome for a month. He'll attend the synod on the family, a gathering of bishops from around the world addressing pastoral issues including marriage, children and divorce. 

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