Telesphore Toppo

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His Eminence
Telesphore Placidus Toppo
Cardinal, Archbishop of Ranchi
See Ranchi
Appointed 8 November 1984
Installed 7 August 1985
Predecessor Pius Kerketta SJ
Other posts Cardinal-Priest of Sacro Cuore di Gesù agonizzante a Vitinia
Ordination 3 May 1969
by Franz von Streng
Consecration 7 October 1978
by Pius Kerketta
Created Cardinal 21 October 2003
Rank Cardinal-Priest
Personal details
Born (1939-10-15) 15 October 1939 (age 77)
Chainpur, India
Nationality Indian
Denomination Roman Catholic Latin Rite
Previous post
  • Bishop of Dumka (1978–1984)
  • Coadjutor Archbishop of Ranchi (1984–1985)
Motto Parare Viam Domini (prepare the way of the lord) – Isaiah 40:3
Coat of arms {{{coat_of_arms_alt}}}
Styles of
Telesphore Placidus Toppo
Coat of arms of Telesphore Toppo.svg
Reference style His Eminence
Spoken style Your Eminence
Informal style Cardinal

Telesphore Placidus Toppo (born 15 October 1939 in Chainpur, Jharkhand, India) is a Cardinal and Archbishop of Ranchi in the Roman Catholic Church.

Early life and ordination[edit]

Born the 8th of 10 children, Toppo studied at St. Xavier's College, Ranchi and Theology at the Urbanianum, Rome. He was ordained priest on 3 May 1969 by Bishop Franz von Streng.


After a stint at Torpa (Jharkhand), as Headmaster of St Joseph's School and Director of the Lievens Vocational Center, Toppo was consecrated bishop for the diocese of Dumka (7 October 1978) by Archbishop Pius Kerketta, S.J., and soon transferred to Ranchi (Capital city of the Jharkhand state) first as Co-adjutor and then as Archbishop (1985). A polyglot, Toppo speaks Oraon, Hindi, Sadri, English and Italian.


Toppo was made Cardinal-Priest by Pope John Paul II on 21 October 2003, given the titular church of Sacro Cuore di Gesù agonizzante a Vitinia.[1] He was elector at the 2005 papal conclave that elected Joseph Ratzinger as Pope Benedict XVI.

He was the president of Catholic Bishops' Conference of India from 12 January 2004 to 19 February 2008. He also served as president of Conference of Catholic Bishops of India– Latin Rite (CCBI-LR) from 2003 to 2005.

He was one of the cardinal electors who participated in the 2013 papal conclave that selected Pope Francis.



On 11 February 2008, he called for the proclamation of a new marian dogma on Mary, Mediatrix of graces, Co-Redemptrix of humanity, with Jesus as sole and unique mediator.[2]

Eucharist and mission work[edit]

He pronounced a speech on the Eucharist and mission work at the Eucharistic Congress of Québec.[3]

Interfaith Dialogue[edit]

Toppo currently sits on the Board of World Religious Leaders for the Elijah Interfaith Institute.[4]


External links[edit]