Thomas G. Doran

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Thomas George Doran (February 20, 1936 – September 1, 2016) was an American prelate of the Roman Catholic Church who served as the eighth Bishop of the Diocese of Rockford, Illinois from 1994 to 2012.


Early life and education[edit]

Doran was born in Rockford, Illinois, and attended St. James Grade School and Campion High School, and graduated from Loras College and St. Pius X Seminary (Dubuque, Iowa) in 1958.[1] He then furthered his studies in Rome at the Pontifical Gregorian University, from where he obtained a Licentiate of Sacred Theology in 1962.[1]

Ordination and ministry[edit]

Doran was ordained to the priesthood by Bishop Martin John O'Connor on December 20, 1961, in St. Peter's Basilica.[2]

Upon his return to the Diocese of Rockford, Doran served in many administrative, judicial, and pastoral capacities before returning to Rome in 1975 to complete a doctorate in canon law, which he earned in 1978.[1]

He then served as Chancellor, Judicial Vicar, Vicar for Catholic Education, and Rector of St. Peter's Cathedral in the Rockford Diocese.[1] In 1986, Pope John Paul II appointed him to be a Prelate Auditor of the Sacred Roman Rota.

Bishop of Rockford[edit]

On April 19, 1994, Doran was appointed the eighth Bishop of Rockford by John Paul II.[2][better source needed] He received his episcopal consecration on the following June 24 from Joseph Cardinal Bernardin, with Bishops Arthur O'Neill and Joseph Galante serving as co-consecrators.[2] He selected as his episcopal motto: "Spes Anchora Vitae."[1]

As bishop, Doran was the spiritual leader of 446,859 Catholics in Northwestern Illinois.[1] In 2000, he was named a member of the Supreme Tribunal of the Apostolic Signatura. He was also a member of the Congregation for the Clergy, Board of Catholics United for the Faith, Board of Trustees of The Catholic University of America, and Institute on Religious Life.[1]´


Doran's resignation as bishop, which he submitted on his 75th birthday as required by Canon 401 §1 of the Code of Canon Law, was accepted by Pope Benedict XVI on March 20, 2012. He was succeeded by David John Malloy.[3]


Doran was one of the earliest proponents of the Tridentine Mass. Before Summorum Pontificum, Doran was singled out in an article in The Wanderer as one of the few U.S. bishops "...who have been generous in the Ecclesia Dei indult application, as requested and emphasized repeatedly by the late Pope John Paul II",[4][5] the others being Archbishop Raymond Burke of St. Louis, Bishop Álvaro Corrada del Rio of Tyler, Texas, and Bishop Fabian Bruskewitz of Lincoln, Nebraska.

In August 2006 Doran denounced the rate of abortions in the United States, saying, "We shall soon outstrip the Nazis in doing human beings to death."[6]

In late March 2009 Doran expressed his "dismay and outrage" at the decision of the University of Notre Dame to have President Barack Obama deliver its commencement speech and receive an honorary degree.[7] He even suggested that Notre Dame change its name to "The Fighting Irish College" or "Northwestern Indiana Humanist University."[7]

See also[edit]


External links[edit]

The Most Reverend Thomas G. Doran Eighth Bishop of Rockford

Catholic Church titles
Preceded by
Bishop Emeritus of Rockford
Succeeded by
Preceded by
Arthur Joseph O'Neill
Bishop of Rockford
Succeeded by
David John Malloy