Allen Henry Vigneron

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The Most Reverend
Allen Henry Vigneron
Ph.D., S.T.L.
Archbishop of Detroit
Ecclesiastical Superior of the Cayman Islands
See Detroit
Appointed January 5, 2009
Installed January 28, 2009
Predecessor Adam Maida
Successor incumbent
Other posts Ecclesiastical Superior of the Cayman Islands
Ordination July 26, 1975
by John Francis Dearden
Consecration July 9, 1996
by Adam Maida
Personal details
Born (1948-10-21) October 21, 1948 (age 67)
Mount Clemens, Michigan, U.S.
Nationality  American
Denomination Roman Catholic Church
Previous post
Motto Aspicientes in Iesum
(Looking unto Jesus)
Coat of arms {{{coat_of_arms_alt}}}
Styles of
Allen Henry Vigneron
Coat of arms of Allen Henry Vigneron.svg
Reference style The Most Reverend
Spoken style Your Excellency[1]
Religious style Archbishop

Allen Henry Vigneron (born October 21, 1948) is an American prelate of the Roman Catholic Church. He is the current Archbishop of Detroit and Ecclesiastical Superior of the Cayman Islands, having previously served as Bishop of Oakland from 2003 to 2009.[2]


Early life[edit]

The eldest of six children, Allen Vigneron was born in Mount Clemens, Michigan,[2] to Elwin and Bernardine (née Kott) Vigneron. He is of French descent on his father's side and German on his mother's.[3] He graduated from Sacred Heart Major Seminary in 1970, receiving degrees in both Philosophy and Classical Languages. He then furthered his studies at the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome, where he obtained a Bachelor's degree in Sacred Theology in 1973.


Upon his return to the United States, Vigneron was ordained to the priesthood by Cardinal John Francis Dearden on July 26, 1975.[2] He then served as associate pastor of Our Lady Queen of Peace Church in Harper Woods. He earned his Licentiate in Sacred Theology from the Gregorian in 1977, and later resumed his pastoral work in suburban Detroit.

Vigneron completed his graduate studies at the Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C., earning his doctorate in philosophy in 1987 with a dissertation on Edmund Husserl. He was also made a professor (in 1985) and the dean (in 1988) of Sacred Heart Seminary. From 1991 to 1994, Vigneron served as an official in the Vatican Secretariat of State and adjunct instructor at the Gregorian. He then returned to Sacred Heart Seminary as its Rector. Vigneron, who was raised by Pope John Paul II to the rank of Monsignor in 1994,[2] removed several teachers from the seminary for having strayed from official church doctrine in his opinion.[4]


On June 12, 1996, Vigneron was appointed Auxiliary Bishop of Detroit and Titular Bishop of Sault Sainte Marie in Michigan. He received his episcopal consecration on the following July 9 from Cardinal Adam Maida, with Cardinals James Hickey and Edmund Szoka serving as co-consecrators. Vigneron was later named Coadjutor Bishop of Oakland, California, on January 10, 2003, succeeding John Stephen Cummins as the third Bishop of Oakland on October 1 of that same year.[2] In California, he helped lead protests against same-sex marriage.[5] He compared abortion and stem-cell research to slavery and racism.[4]

Pope Benedict XVI appointed Vigneron Archbishop of Detroit on January 5, 2009, replacing longtime incumbent Cardinal Maida.[2] Installed on January 28, 2009, Vigneron is the first metropolitan Detroit native named Archbishop of Detroit.[2] He was elected chairman of the Board of Trustees of The Catholic University of America on June 9, 2009. He received the pallium, a vestment worn by metropolitan bishops, from Benedict XVI on June 29, 2009 in a ceremony at St. Peter's Basilica. On April 21, 2011, as Archbishop of Detroit, he participated in an interfaith vigil held at the Islamic Center of America in Dearborn, Michigan.[6]


  1. ^ Mass for Commerce Retrieved November 30, 2014
  2. ^ a b c d e f g "Cardinal Maida retires; successor named". The Compass (official publication of the Catholic Diocese of Green Bay, Wisconsin). January 9, 2009. 
  3. ^ Vigneron profile
  4. ^ a b "Archbishop-designate Vigneron aims to defend teachings, build harmony". Detroit Free Press. 2009-01-27. Archived from the original on February 8, 2009. Retrieved 2009-01-28. 
  5. ^ SFGate: "New Oakland bishop called conservative"
  6. ^ Interfaith Vigil held at Islamic Center of America from Press & Guide, April 21, 2011, retrieved 27 April 2015
Catholic Church titles
Preceded by
Adam Maida
Archbishop of Detroit
2009 – present
Ecclesiastical Superior of the Cayman Islands
2009 – present
Preceded by
John Stephen Cummins
Bishop of Oakland
Succeeded by
Salvatore Cordileone