James Robert Hoffman
|The Most Reverend
James R. Hoffman
|Bishop of Toledo|
|In office||February 17, 1981 – February 8, 2003|
|Predecessor||John Anthony Donovan|
|Successor||Leonard Paul Blair|
|Ordination||July 28, 1957|
|Consecration||June 23, 1978
by John Anthony Donovan
|Born||June 12, 1932
|Died||February 8, 2003
|Previous post||Auxiliary Bishop of Toledo (1978–1980)|
Hoffman was born in Fremont, Ohio, and studied at St. Meinrad Seminary in Indiana and St. Mary Seminary in Northwood, Ohio. He was ordained to the priesthood on July 28, 1957. He then served as a curate at St. Peter's Church in Mansfield, St. Joseph's Church in Marblehead, and Blessed Sacrament Church in Toledo.
In 1966 he earned a Licentiate of Canon Law from the Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C. Hoffman was later named secretary to Bishop John Anthony Donovan and chancellor of the Diocese of Toledo. In addition to these duties, he also served as pastor of St. Joseph's Church in Sylvania.
On April 18, 1978, Hoffman was appointed Auxiliary Bishop of Toledo and Titular Bishop of Italica by Pope Paul VI. He received his episcopal consecration on the following June 23 from Bishop Donovan, with Archbishop Joseph Bernardin and Bishop Albert Henry Ottenweller serving as co-consecrators. He selected as his episcopal motto: "Omnia Omnibus", meaning, "All things to all men" (1 Corinthians 9:22). Hoffman was later named the sixth Bishop of Toledo on December 16, 1980. He was installed by Archbishop Bernardin at Rosary Cathedral on February 17, 1981.
Hoffman was criticized for his handling of sexual abuse cases in the diocese, which had 11 lawsuits filed against it. In 1992 he placed the Rev. Robert J. Fisher in active ministry after the latter admitted to molesting a 14-year-old girl and spent 30 days in prison. He later suspended Fisher in 2002 due to "the media climate," but said he had no plans to remove other such priests. He later declared, "My difficulty with zero tolerance is that the Gospel teaches reconciliation. We believe in forgiveness."
Serving for 22 years, he was the longest-serving ordinary in the history of the Diocese of Toledo.
|Consecrated by:||John Anthony Donovan|
|Bishop||Date of consecration|
|Robert William Donnelly||May 3, 1984|
|Catholic Church titles|
John Anthony Donovan
|Bishop of Toledo
Leonard Paul Blair