WASHINGTON — Pope Francis has appointed Father Kurt Burnette as bishop of the Byzantine Eparchy of Passaic. Father Burnette served as administrator of St. Irene Church in Portland from 1998-2004.
The appointment was publicized in Washington on Oct. 29, by Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò, apostolic nuncio to the United States.
Bishop-elect Burnette, 57, was born in Norfolk County, England in 1955. He was ordained a priest for the Eparchy of Van Nuys in 1989. He received a licentiate in canon law from the Pontificium Institutum Orientale in Rome in 2007 and holds a doctorate in civil law from Newport University. He also has earned a bachelor’s degree in mathematics and electrical engineering from Rice University in Houston, Texas, and a doctorate in mathematics from the University of Utah.
He has served as a pastor, professor and canonical judge across the United States. He has served for several Tribunals, including those in the dioceses of Phoenix, Las Vegas and Gallup, the Archdiocese of Santa Fe and the Eparchy of Van Nuys. He became rector of the Byzantine Seminary of SS. Cyril and Methodius in Pittsburgh in 2012.
Bishop-elect Burnette is a priest of the Byzantine Eparchy of The Holy Protection of Mary in Phoenix, and up until now, rector of the Byzantine Seminary of SS. Cyril and Methodius in Pittsburgh.
The Eparchy of Passaic was established in 1963 and includes all Catholics of the Byzantine-Ruthenian Rite in New Jersey, Connecticut, Delaware, Washington D.C., Florida, Georgia, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York, North Carolina, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Vermont, Virginia all of Eastern Pennsylvania. It serves a Catholic population of 14,356.