Leonard Paul Blair

Leonard Paul Blair (born April 12, 1949) is an American prelate of the Roman Catholic Church, serving as archbishop of the Archdiocese of Hartford in Connecticut since December 16, 2013.

Leonard Paul Blair
Archbishop of Hartford
Mgr. Leonard Paul Blaire.jpg
ChurchRoman Catholic Church
AppointedOctober 29, 2013
InstalledDecember 16, 2013
PredecessorHenry J. Mansell
OrdinationJune 26, 1976
by John Francis Dearden
ConsecrationAugust 24, 1999
by Adam Maida, Edmund Szoka, and Dale Joseph Melczek
Personal details
Leonard Paul Blair

(1949-04-12) April 12, 1949 (age 73)
Nationality American
DenominationRoman Catholic
Previous post(s)
Styles of
Leonard Paul Blair
Coat of arms of Leonard Paul Blair.svg
Reference style
Spoken styleYour Excellency
Religious styleArchbishop

Blair previously served as bishop of the Diocese of Toledo in Ohio from 2003 to 2013 and as an auxiliary bishop of the Archdiocese of Detroit in Michigan from 1999 to 2003.


Early lifeEdit

Leonard Blair was born on April 12, 1949, in Detroit, Michigan. He first studied at Sacred Heart Major Seminary in Detroit, where he obtained a Bachelor of Arts in History. [1]


Blair was ordained to the priesthood on June 26, 1976 for the Archdiocese of Detroit by Cardinal John Dearden.[1] After his ordination, Blair attended the Pontifical North American University in Rome. He received the follow degrees there:

Blair served as assistant pastor or pastor in several parishes in the archdiocese:

Blair's archdiocesan positions included assignments at vicar general and chancellor. He taught theology and patristics at Sacred Heart Major Seminary, where he also served as dean of studies. Blair returned to Rome at one point to work as an official of the Prefecture for the Economic Affairs of the Holy See. After returning to Detroit, he was named as personal secretary to Cardinal Edmund Szoka.[1]

Auxiliary Bishop of DetroitEdit

On July 8, 1999, Blair was appointed as an Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Detroit and Titular Bishop of Voncariana. He received his episcopal consecration on August 24 at the Cathedral of the Most Blessed Sacrament in Detroit from Cardinal Adam Maida, with Cardinal Szoka and Bishop Dale Melczek serving as co-consecrators.[2]

Bishop of ToledoEdit

Blair was appointed Bishop of the Diocese of Toledo on October 7, 2003. He was installed on December 4, 2003.[3]

On April 28, 2004, Blair suspended the ministry of Gerald Robinson, a diocese priest, after his arrest on murder charges. Robinson had been charged with killing Sister Margaret Ann Pahl at Mercy Hospital in Toledo.[4] Robinson was convicted of murder in 2006 and sentenced to 15 years to life in prison.[5]

Sisters of St. Francis controversyEdit

On May 9. 2005, Blair directed the Sisters of St. Francis to cancel a three-workshop by New Ways Ministry at the order's campus in Tiffin, Ohio.[6] In stating his objections, Blair stated:

The positions of New Ways Ministry are not at all in accord with the guidelines for pastoral care which the bishops of the United States issued in 2006 regarding 'Ministry to Persons with a Homosexual Inclination.' Nor does New Ways Ministry present the full, authentic teaching of the Catholic Church on homosexuality.[6]

LCWR controversyEdit

In April 2008, the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDR) at the Vatican directed Blair to conduct a doctrinal assessment of the Leadership Conference of Women Religious (LCWR), the umbrella organization for nuns in the United States. The Vatican was concerned that the LCWR was straying from church priorities and doctrines.[7] Blair submitted his report to the CDR in 2010, noting that "The current doctrinal and pastoral situation of LCWR is grave and a matter of serious concern."[8] In April 2012, the CDR appointed Blair, Archbishop J. Peter Sartain and Archbishop Thomas J. Paprocki to creat a plan for the overhaul of the LCWR. In response, the LCWR voted to reject the CDR plan, creating a standoff. After the installation of Pope Francis in 2013, pressure on the LCWR eased and by 2015 the CDR had major sanctions against the LCWR.[7]

Komen Foundation controversyEdit

In July 2011, Blair told parishes and parochial schools in the Diocese of Toledo not to raise funds for the Susan G. Komen Foundation, citing concerns that the money could be used to fund embryonic stem-cell research.[9] Blair stated.

"As best we can determine, at present the Komen Foundation does not fund cancer research that employs embryonic stem cells. However, their policy does not exclude that possibility. They are open to embryonic stem cell research, and may very well fund such research in the future."[10]

Blair's statement also referred to Komen's relationship with Planned Parenthood, a provider of abortion and women's health services. Because of these factors, Blair urged Catholic donors, both corporate and individually, to consider alternate organizations when supporting breast cancer research.[11]

Archbishop of HartfordEdit

Blair was appointed as the fifth Archbishop of Hartford on October 29, 2013 and installed on December 16, 2013.[2]

On January 22, 2019, Blair announced that the Archdiocese of Hartford had paid a $50.6 million legal settlement to 142 claims of sexual abuse by 29 priests from the archdiocese and three priests from other dioceses, dating back to 1953.[12] Blair made this statement:

It is a cause of profound sorrow and soul searching for me that we bishops have often failed to grasp the spiritual and moral devastation that results from sexual abuse.[12]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ a b c d e Hartford, Archdiocese of. "Archbishop Leonard P. Blair". Archdiocese of Hartford. Retrieved 2022-01-14.
  2. ^ a b "Archbishop Leonard Paul Blair [Catholic-Hierarchy]". www.catholic-hierarchy.org. Retrieved 2022-01-14.
  3. ^ "Vatican Names Archbishop Sartain To Lead Renewal Of LCWR". www.usccb.org.
  4. ^ "Diocese Suspends Priest Accused of Murder". wtol.com. April 28, 2004. Retrieved 2022-01-14.
  5. ^ Maag, Christopher (2006-05-12). "Priest Found Guilty of Nun's 1980 Murder". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2022-01-14.
  6. ^ a b CNA. "Bishop Blair bans New Ways homosexual ministry workshop". Catholic News Agency. Retrieved 2022-01-14.
  7. ^ a b Service, David Gibson | Religion News (2015-04-16). "TIMELINE: The long and contentious duel between Rome and American nuns". Washington Post. ISSN 0190-8286. Retrieved 2022-01-14.
  8. ^ Nadeau, Barbie Latza (2012-04-20). "Nuns Gone Wild! Vatican Chastises American Sisters". The Daily Beast. Retrieved 2022-01-14.
  9. ^ ABC7. "Outrage grows after Bishop Blair pulls support for charity | ABC7 Chicago | abc7chicago.com". ABC7 Chicago. Retrieved 2022-01-14.
  10. ^ "404 - Error: 404". April 2, 2015. Archived from the original on April 2, 2015. {{cite web}}: Cite uses generic title (help)
  11. ^ CNA. "Ohio bishop endorses anti-cancer alternatives to Komen Foundation fundraising". Catholic News Agency. Retrieved 2022-01-14.
  12. ^ a b Cummings, Bill (2019-01-22). "Hartford archdiocese paid $50.6M to settle priests' sex abuse claims". Connecticut Post. Retrieved 2022-01-14.

External linksEdit

Episcopal successionEdit

Catholic Church titles
Preceded by Archbishop of Hartford
Preceded by Bishop of Toledo
Succeeded by
Preceded by
Auxiliary Bishop of Detroit
Succeeded by