CINCINNATI (FOX19) - Former Cincinnati Archbishop Daniel E. Pilarczyk died Sunday, the Archdiocese of Cincinnati announced.
He was 85.
Pilarczyk’s served as archbishop in Cincinnati from 1982 to 2009, when he retired as the U.S.'s longest-serving bishop.
“Among his brother bishops, Archbishop Pilarczyk was recognized as one of the outstanding churchmen of his time,” said his successor, the Most Reverend Dennis M. Schnurr, Archbishop of Cincinnati.
“They elected him not only president of what was then the National Conference of Catholic Bishops, but also chair of every significant committee of the bishops’ conference.
“His accomplishments on the local level in his tenure as Archbishop of Cincinnati were equally outstanding. He unselfishly devoted his entire priesthood to this archdiocese, including 27 years as its archbishop. I have known and admired Archbishop Pilarczyk for more than 30 years. I shall miss his friendship, his graciousness, and his wise counsel.”
He ordained more than 100 priests and three bishops and conferred confirmation on more than 74,000 people.
In his final years, Pilarczyk was a key figure in the church abuse scandal. He was not charged with wrongdoing himself.
He stood in a Hamilton County courtroom in 2003 as a judge convicted the archdiocese of failing to report sexually abusive priests in the 1970s and 1980s.
The maximum penalty possible was imposed, $10,000.
It was the first time a Catholic institution in the United States had been convicted of such a crime.