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Kevin Doran (born 26 June 1953) is a prelate of the Catholic Church and serves as the bishop of Elphin since his consecration on 13 July 2014.[1]

Kevin Doran
Bishop of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Elphin
Appointed14 May 2014
Ordination6 May 1976
by Patrick Dunne
Consecration13 July 2014
by Christopher Jones
Personal details
Born (1953-06-26) 26 June 1953 (age 66)
Dublin, Ireland
DenominationCatholic Church
Alma materHoly Cross Seminary, Pontifical Irish College, University College Dublin, Pontifical Gregorian University
MottoUnum Corpus in Christo
(English: "One Body in Christ")
Coat of armsKevin Doran's coat of arms
Coat of arms of Kevin Doran



Doran was born in Dublin in 1953. He was educated at Christian Brothers College, Monkstown Park where his father also taught. Doran began his seminary formation from 1970 to 1974 in Holy Cross Seminary, Dublin and from 1974 to 1977 in the Pontifical Irish College, Rome. He was ordained a Deacon on 6 May 1976 in the Pontifical Irish College by the late Bishop Dominic Conway of Elphin. Doran attended University College Dublin, from 1971 to 1974 was awarded a Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy and French. He attended Pontifical Gregorian University from 1974 to 1977 where he earned an STB Theology having already studied philosophy. He was ordained a priest on 6 July 1977 for the Archdiocese of Dublin. From 1978 to 1979 he studied at UCD where he earned a Higher Diploma in Education.

Ordination and priesthoodEdit

After ordination, until 1983 he was a teacher in the vocational school in Ringsend, Dublin. From 1980 to 1983 he served in the diocesan Secretariat for Education. In 1983 he was appointed University Chaplain.[2] He furthered his studies at University College Dublin, from 1985 to 1987 where he earned an MA in Philosophy.[3]

In 1991 he returned to Rome, earning a doctorate in philosophy at the Pontifical University of Saint Thomas Aquinas, Angelicum which he completed in 1995, at the same time carrying out the service Spiritual Director at the Irish College.

He returned to Ireland and was Parochial Vicar at Foxrock Church from 1995 to 1998, and director of the diocesan, and then national programme for vocations from 1998 to 2006. He was appointed parish priest of Glendalough in 2005, serving until 2009. He was appointed Secretary General of the Preparatory Committee of the 50th International Eucharistic Congress (2008–2012).

From 2007-2014, he was the Director for the Formation of Permanent Deacons and secretary of the Commission of the Bishops' Conference on Bioethics (1996). He was also a member of the board of directors of Mater Misericordiae Hospital in Dublin. From 2005 to 2009 he served as a Consultor to the Congregation for Catholic Education. From 2013 until 2014 he was administrator of the Sacred Heart parish, Donnybrook in Dublin.

He has published several articles in journals such as The Linacre Quarterly and Studies.

In a ceremony at the Cathedral of Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary in Sligo, Bishop-elect Doran said: “I must confess to being a little surprised to find myself here this morning. Two weeks ago, we finalised a development plan for the parish, and that was the only plan I had in mind for the foreseeable future. I have learnt over the years, however, that vocation is never static.”[4]

Bishop of ElphinEdit

He was ordained as bishop on 13 July 2014 by Bishop Christopher Jones with the Principal Co-Consecrators being Archbishop Michael Neary of Tuam and Archbishop Charles John Brown. In February 2017, the Irish Catholic newspaper announced that Bishop Doran had reached an agreement for a new community of religious sisters to establish a house in his diocese. These are members of the Servant Sisters of the Home of the Mother congregation, and would settle at Sacred Heart Parish, Roscommon.[5]


Lung cancer drug trialsEdit

In 2005 Doran, in his capacity as a board member of the Mater Hospital, was a member of a three-person subcommittee, along with Sister Eugene Nolan, who delayed the trial of a new lung cancer drug because female patients taking the drug would have been required to take birth control to avoid conceiving children with birth defects, contrary to the hospital's Catholic ethos.[6][7]


In October 2013 he resigned from the board of the Mater Hospital after management confirmed it would comply with the new Protection of Life During Pregnancy Act.[8]

Following the result of the May 2018 referendum (which resulted in the 8th amendment being repealed). Doran said, "What I’d say to a Catholic who voted ‘Yes’, is this: if you voted ‘Yes’ knowing and intending that abortion would be the outcome, then you should consider coming to confession," "where you will be received with the compassion shown to any other penitent." "All sins are ultimately about decisions that impact on our relationship with God."[9]

Views on homosexualityEdit

On 24 February 2015, in advance of the same-sex marriage referendum, Doran said, "The reality is that those who wish to change the Constitution are not actually looking for marriage equality. They are looking for a different kind of relationship which would be called marriage; a relationship which includes some elements of marriage, such as love and commitment, but excludes one of the two essential aspects of marriage, which is the openness of their sexual relationship to procreation. This is only possible if we change the meaning of marriage and remove that aspect of openness to procreation."[10]

In an interview with NewsTalk Breakfast radio in March 2015, Doran differentiated between marriage and same-sex relationships: "One [...] is of its very nature, directed towards the upbringing, the care of children, and one which isn't and they can't be said to be the same." and that some people who have children "are not necessarily parents". The Archbishop of Dublin, Diarmuid Martin, subsequently described it as "an unfortunate phrase" and hoped that people were not offended by Doran's comments. Doran later said that he regretted the hurt experienced by people either due to his choice of words or to the manner in which what he said had been subsequently reported.[11]

Views on contraceptionEdit

In August 2018, at an event commemorating the papal encyclical Humanae Vitae, Doran claimed "the fact that [women who use contraception] are less likely to become pregnant also takes away from women one of the principle motives or freedoms for saying no to unwanted sex", and stated "There is a very direct connection between the contraceptive mentality and the surprisingly high number of people who seem ready to redefine marriage today as a relationship between two people without distinction as to sex."[12] In response, the Minister for Health, Simon Harris, tweeted "Please just make it stop! Increasing access to & availability of contraception is and will remain public health policy. Religion plays an important role for many on an individual basis - but it will not determine health and social policy in our country any more. Please get that."[13][14]


  1. ^ "Bishop Kevin Doran". David M. Cheney. 9 March 2015.
  2. ^ "Rinunce e nomine, 14.05.2014". Holy See Press Office. 14 May 2014. Retrieved 9 March 2015.
  3. ^ "Pope Francis appoints Father Kevin Doran as Bishop of Elphin". Irish Catholic Bishops' Conference. 14 May 2014. Retrieved 9 March 2015.
  4. ^ "Dublin priest appointed as the new bishop of the midlands and west of Ireland". The Irish Times. 14 May 2014. Retrieved 9 March 2015.
  5. ^ "Bishop invites community of sisters to Elphin". Irish Catholic. Retrieved 24 February 2017.
  6. ^ "Three who stopped the cancer tests". The Irish Independent. 5 October 2005. Retrieved 1 July 2015.
  7. ^ "Abortion row priest blocked cancer trials". Retrieved 7 August 2017.
  8. ^ "Dublin priest appointed as Bishop of Elphin". Raidió Teilifís Éireann. 14 May 2014. Retrieved 9 March 2015.
  9. ^
  10. ^ "'No obstacle' to gays marrying, just not each other, says bishop". The Irish Times. 24 February 2015. Retrieved 9 March 2015.
  11. ^ "Bishop of Elphin expresses regret over comments about gay parents". The Irish Times. 16 March 2015. Retrieved 16 March 2015.
  12. ^ Gleeson, Colin (4 August 2018). "Principles of contraceptive ban 'ignored for too long', says bishop - Bishop of Elphin Kevin Doran links 'contraceptive mentality' to support for gay marriage". The Irish Times. Retrieved 5 August 2018.
  13. ^ "Tweet by Simon Harris". Twitter. 5 August 2018. Retrieved 5 August 2018.
  14. ^ "'Please just make it stop!': Simon Harris hits back at Bishop over contraception comments". 5 August 2018. Retrieved 5 August 2018.