Henry J. Mansell

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Henry Joseph Mansell
Archbishop Emeritus of Hartford
Archbishop Henry Mansell.jpg
AppointedOctober 20, 2003
InstalledDecember 18, 2003
Term endedOctober 29, 2013
PredecessorDaniel Anthony Cronin
SuccessorLeonard Paul Blair
OrdinationDecember 19, 1962
by Martin John O'Connor
ConsecrationJanuary 6, 1993
by Pope John Paul II, Giovanni Battista Re, and Justin Francis Rigali
Personal details
Birth nameHenry Joseph Mansell
Born (1937-10-10) October 10, 1937 (age 81)
New York City, New York
Nationality American
DenominationRoman Catholic
ParentsHenry; Bridget
OccupationArchbishop, Clergyman
Previous post
Alma materSt. Joseph's Seminary, Pontifical Gregorian University
MottoBlessed Be God
Styles of
Henry Joseph Mansell
Coat of arms of Henry Joseph Mansell.svg
Reference style
Spoken styleYour Excellency
Religious styleArchbishop

Henry Joseph Mansell (born October 10, 1937) is an American prelate of the Roman Catholic Church. He was the fourth Archbishop of Hartford, having previously served as Bishop of Buffalo from 1995 to 2003. The Archbishop is believed by many in the Buffalo Diocese to have an eidetic memory. He can remember names of, for example, Confirmation candidates without note cards or assistance. Pope Francis accepted Archbishop Mansell's resignation from the pastoral care of the archdiocese on October 29, 2013, the Archbishop having reached the mandatory retirement age a year earlier. Pope Francis appointed Bishop Leonard Paul Blair of Toledo, Ohio as the new Archbishop on the same day.

Early life[edit]

Henry Mansell was born in The Bronx to Henry and Bridget (née Finn) Mansell,[1] and baptized at St. Augustine's Church three weeks later.[2] He has a sister, Anne.[1]


Mansell attended Cathedral College, the preparatory seminary of the Archdiocese of New York, in Manhattan from 1951 to 1957, and then entered St. Joseph's Seminary in Yonkers, where he obtained a Bachelor's degree in 1959. Mansell then studied at the Pontifical North American College and the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome, where he was ordained to the priesthood by Archbishop Martin O'Connor on December 19, 1962.[2] He earned a Licentiate of Sacred Theology from the Gregorian in 1963, and did postgraduate work at the Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C. until 1965.


Mansell served as a parish priest at parishes in Harrison, his native Bronx, and Sts. John and Paul parish in Larchmont.[2] He was appointed director of the Office of Parish Councils on June 9, 1972, and Vice Chancellor of the Archdiocese of New York on July 1, 1985. On March 17, 1986, Mansell was made an Honorary Prelate of His Holiness.[2] He later became director of Priest Personnel and Chancellor (1988) of the Archdiocese.

Episcopal career[edit]

On November 24, 1992, Mansell was appointed Auxiliary Bishop of New York City and Titular Bishop of Marazanae by Pope John Paul II. He received his episcopal consecration on January 6, 1993 from Pope John Paul II himself, with Archbishops Giovanni Re and Justin Rigali serving as co-consecrators, in Rome. He selected as his episcopal motto, "Blessed be God" (Psalms 68:36).

Bishop of Buffalo, New York[edit]

Mansell was later named the twelfth Bishop of Buffalo on April 18, 1995. Succeeding the retiring Edward D. Head, he was formally installed on the following June 12 at St. Joseph's Cathedral.

During his tenure, Mansell visited every parish in the diocese, most of them multiple times. He also promoted Catholic education, and health care and social service institutes within the diocese. Mansell established the Catholic Health Care System of Western New York, uniting the resources of local Catholic hospitals, nursing homes, and other health care facilities. In 1996 he instituted the diocese's vicariate structure, and in 1997 he led the diocese in celebrating its 150th anniversary.

Mansell received honorary doctorates from Niagara University in May 1996, from St. Bonaventure University in August 1996, and from Canisius College in May 1997. In September 2003, Governor George Pataki named him to the State Commission on Education Reform, a group of education, business, and community leaders dedicated to reforming New York's education system.

In 2006, it was reported in Buffalo Business First that Mansell had not been forthright with the public or his superiors about the debt experienced within the Diocese.[3] One individual was quoted in the same Buffalo Business First article, stating that Mansell was unable to see the reality of the situation.[3] While Mansell did not oversee any church closures during his leadership in Buffalo, he lauded praises and support for the Diocese when it was actually in decline.[3] Bishop Edward Kmiec then took on the role as Bishop of Buffalo after Mansell, faced with more than $3 million in debt, a declining Catholic population, and decreased viability for keeping many schools and churches open.[3]

Archbishop of Hartford, Connecticut[edit]

Pope John Paul II promoted Mansell to the fourth Archbishop of Hartford, Connecticut, on October 20, 2003. He was installed on December 18 of that same year. On June 29, 2004, Archbishop Mansell received the pallium from Pope John Paul II in Rome.

In 2005, the Archdiocese of Hartford paid $22 million to settle sexual abuse claims brought by 43 people against 14 priests, the majority of cases occurring in the 1960s and 1970s.[4] Mansell made a statement regarding the settlement.[4]

Of the settlement of the sexual abuse case regarding the 14 priests in the Archdiocese, Mansell is quoted in a New York Times article by William Yardley, stating:

[It is] part of a healing process for the persons whose lives have been severely harmed by the evil of sexual abuse and for the Church itself.[4]

Mansell is a proponent of the Traditional Latin Mass.[5]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "Paid Notice: Deaths MANSELL, BRIDGET J." The New York Times. 1998-06-04.
  2. ^ a b c d "The Most Reverend Henry J. Mansell: Chronology". Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Hartford. Archived from the original on 2007-10-23.
  3. ^ a b c d Sole power: Bishop Edward Kmiec wants change - and so it will be, Buffalo Business First, Buffalo, NY: Buffalo Business First, 11 September 2006, O'Shei, T., Retrieved 3 January 2014.
  4. ^ a b c Yardley, William (2005-11-01). "Church Settles Abuse Claims In Hartford". The New York Times.
  5. ^ Diocese of Hartford: Archbishop's Column - The Catholic Transcript: The Celebration of Mass September 2007 Issue

External links[edit]

Episcopal succession[edit]

Catholic Church titles
Preceded by
Daniel A. Cronin
Archbishop of Hartford
Succeeded by
Leonard Paul Blair
Preceded by
Edward D. Head
Bishop of Buffalo
Succeeded by
Edward U. Kmiec
Preceded by
Auxiliary Bishop of New York
Succeeded by