Leonard Paul Blair

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His Excellency, The Most Reverend
Leonard Paul Blair
Archbishop of Hartford
Archdiocese Hartford
Appointed October 29, 2013
Installed December 16, 2013
Predecessor Henry J. Mansell
Ordination June 26, 1976
by John Francis Dearden
Consecration August 24, 1999
by Adam Maida, Edmund Szoka, and Dale Joseph Melczek
Personal details
Birth name Leonard Paul Blair
Born (1949-04-12) April 12, 1949 (age 69)
Detroit, Michigan
Nationality  American
Denomination Roman Catholic
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Styles of
Leonard Paul Blair
Coat of arms of Leonard Paul Blair.svg
Reference style
Spoken style Your Excellency
Religious style Archbishop

Leonard Paul Blair (born April 12, 1949) is an American prelate of the Roman Catholic Church serving as the thirteenth bishop and fifth and current archbishop of the Archdiocese of Hartford, Connecticut. He was installed as the Archbishop of Hartford on December 16, 2013.


Leonard Blair was born in Detroit, Michigan, and there studied at Sacred Heart Seminary, from where he obtained a Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) in History. He then furthered his studies in Rome, where he earned a baccalaureate and licentiate in theology from the Pontifical Gregorian University, and a doctorate in theology from the Pontifical University of St. Thomas Aquinas (Angelicum).[1]

Blair was ordained to the priesthood on June 26, 1976, and then served as vicar general and chancellor of the Archdiocese of Detroit. He taught theology at Sacred Heart Seminary, where he was dean of studies as well. Blair was personal secretary to Edmund Cardinal Szoka and an official of the Prefecture for the Economic Affairs of the Holy See from 1994 to 1997, whence he was named pastor of St. Paul Church in Grosse Point Farms.

On July 8, 1999, Blair was appointed Auxiliary Bishop of Detroit and Titular Bishop of Voncariana. He received his episcopal consecration on the following August 24 from Adam Cardinal Maida, with Cardinal Szoka and Bishop Dale Melczek serving as co-consecrators. Blair was later named Bishop of Toledo, Ohio, on October 7, 2003. He was installed as the fifth Archbishop of Hartford on December 16, 2013.

In 2009, he delivered the findings of an initial doctrinal assessment report to the Vatican's Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF) on the U.S. Leadership Conference of Women Religious (LCWR), which had been requested and begun in 2008; he issued a subsequent letter in 2010. In April 2012, the CDF issued a formal document ordering an up to five-year-long visitation of the Conference, to be chaired by Seattle's Archbishop J. Peter Sartain, with Bishop Blair and the Bishop of Springfield, Illinois, Thomas J. Paprocki, as members.[2]

In July 2011, Blair advised parishes and Catholic schools in the Diocese of Toledo against raising funds for the Susan G. Komen Foundation, citing concerns that funds contributed to the global anti-cancer foundation may go towards funding embryonic stem-cell research. 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." [3] Bishop Blair's statement also made reference to Komen's relationship with Planned Parenthood, the largest provider of abortions in the United States of America. Because of these factors, Bishop Blair, in conjunction with the Catholic bishops of Ohio, urged Catholic faithful, both corporate and individually, to consider alternate organizations when supporting anti-breast cancer research.

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Episcopal succession[edit]

Catholic Church titles
Preceded by
Henry J. Mansell
Archbishop of Hartford
Preceded by
James Robert Hoffman
Bishop of Toledo
Succeeded by
Daniel Edward Thomas
Preceded by
Auxiliary Bishop of Detroit
Succeeded by