James Robert Hoffman

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The Most Reverend
James R. Hoffman
Bishop of Toledo
Church Catholic Church
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
Personal details
Born June 12, 1932
Fremont, Ohio
Died February 8, 2003(2003-02-08) (aged 71)
Toledo, Ohio
Previous post Auxiliary Bishop of Toledo (1978–1980)
Motto Omnia Omnibus

James Robert Hoffman (June 12, 1932 – February 8, 2003) was an American prelate of the Roman Catholic Church. He served as Bishop of Toledo from 1981 until his death in 2003.

Hoffman was born in Fremont, Ohio, and studied at St. Meinrad Seminary in Indiana and St. Mary Seminary in Northwood, Ohio.[1] He was ordained to the priesthood on July 28, 1957.[2] 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.[1]

In 1966 he earned a Licentiate of Canon Law from the Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C.[1] Hoffman was later named secretary to Bishop John Anthony Donovan and chancellor of the Diocese of Toledo.[1] In addition to these duties, he also served as pastor of St. Joseph's Church in Sylvania.[1]

On April 18, 1978, Hoffman was appointed Auxiliary Bishop of Toledo and Titular Bishop of Italica by Pope Paul VI.[2] 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.[2] He selected as his episcopal motto: "Omnia Omnibus", meaning, "All things to all men" (1 Corinthians 9:22).[1] Hoffman was later named the sixth Bishop of Toledo on December 16, 1980.[2] He was installed by Archbishop Bernardin at Rosary Cathedral on February 17, 1981.[2]

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.[3] He later suspended Fisher in 2002 due to "the media climate," but said he had no plans to remove other such priests.[3] He later declared, "My difficulty with zero tolerance is that the Gospel teaches reconciliation. We believe in forgiveness."[3]

He died from cancer at the Ursuline Center in Toledo, aged 70.[4] He is buried at St. Ann Cemetery in his native Fremont.[4]

Serving for 22 years, he was the longest-serving ordinary in the history of the Diocese of Toledo.


  1. ^ a b c d e f Steele, Lee (1980-12-15). "New Bishop Named For Toledo Diocese". The Toledo Blade. 
  2. ^ a b c d e "Bishop James Robert Hoffman". Catholic-Hierarchy.org. 
  3. ^ a b c "Catholic Bishops and Sex Abuse". The Dallas Morning News. 2002-06-12. 
  4. ^ a b "Bishop Hoffman remembered". The Toledo Blade. 2003-02-10. 

Episcopal lineage
Consecrated by: John Anthony Donovan
Consecrator of
Bishop Date of consecration
Robert William Donnelly May 3, 1984
Catholic Church titles
Preceded by
John Anthony Donovan
Bishop of Toledo
Succeeded by
Leonard Paul Blair