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Louisville Archbishop Joseph Kurtz submitted his resignation to the Vatican Wednesday, his 75th birthday. 

According to canon law, “A diocesan bishop who has completed the seventy-fifth year of age is requested to present his resignation from office to the Supreme Pontiff.”

Before 2018, Kurtz would have resigned outright, but Pope Francis changed this. The pope now has the choice to reject the resignation, but that is unlikely.

Kurtz has served as the leader of the Archdiocese of Louisville for 14 years. He is the fourth archbishop since Louisville became an archdiocese in 1937.

He will continue to hold the title until the pope appoints a replacement. A spokesperson for the archdiocese said that the process could take a number of months.

Breya Jones is the Breaking News Reporter for WFPL.