Thomas Ludger Dupré

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Bishop Thomas Dupre

Thomas Ludger Dupré (November 10, 1933 – December 30, 2016) was an American prelate of the Roman Catholic Church. He served as Bishop of Springfield in Massachusetts from 1995 to 2004.


Dupré was born in South Hadley, Massachusetts, and studied at the Collège de Montréal in Québec, Canada, from 1951 to 1952.[1] Returning to the United States, he briefly attended Assumption College in Worcester before returning to Canada in 1955 to study theology at the Grand Seminary of Montreal.[1] Dupré, following his return to Massachusetts, was ordained to the priesthood by Bishop Christopher Joseph Weldon on May 23, 1959.[2]

He then served as a curate at St. George's Church in Chicopee until 1964, when he was sent to further his studies at Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C.[3] In 1966 he was assigned to St. Joseph's Church in Springfield.[1] Dupré then served at St. John the Baptist in Ludlow (1970–1973), Nativity of the Blessed Virgin in Chicopee (1973–1977), and St. Louis de France in West Springfield (1978–1990). He was named chancellor (1977) and vicar general (1989) of the Diocese of Springfield.[1]

On April 7, 1990, Dupré was appointed Auxiliary Bishop of Springfield and Titular Bishop of Hodelm by Pope John Paul II.[2] He received his episcopal consecration on the following May 31 from Bishop Joseph Francis Maguire, with Bishops Timothy Joseph Harrington and Leo Edward O'Neil serving as co-consecrators.[2] He was named to succeed Bishop John Aloysius Marshall as the seventh Bishop of Springfield on March 14, 1995.[2] He was later installed at St. Michael's Cathedral on the following May 8.[2] During his tenure, Dupré publicly expressed his opposition to same-sex marriage and abortion.[4] During the 2000 presidential election, he declared that it was the "obligation and responsibility" of Catholics "to vote for the candidate who will promote what is good and oppose what is evil, who will promote the culture of life and oppose the culture of death, who will promote the well-being of society and oppose its moral disintegration."[4]

After thirteen years as Bishop, Dupré resigned due to unspecified health reasons on February 11, 2004.[2] His resignation came one day after The Springfield Republican confronted him with accusations of sexual abuse from two men who had known Dupré when he was a parish priest and they were altar boys.[5] Dupré was also accused by local clergy of covering up abuse charges against other priests, including Richard R. Lavigne.[1]

On September 24, 2004, he was indicted by a Hampden County grand jury on two counts of child molestation.[6] He thus became the first Catholic bishop ever to be indicted for sexual abuse.[7] However, the Springfield district attorney's office was forced to drop the charges because the statute of limitations had run out.[7] He then entered St. Luke Institute, a private Catholic psychiatric hospital in Silver Spring, Maryland. As of June 2006, he continued to list his residence as St. Luke's.[8]

In June 2010 a Judge released to the public a transcript and videotape of the Bishop's deposition made for a civil lawsuit where after stating his name and date of birth, Dupré pleaded the Fifth Amendment in response to three hours of questions.[9]

Dupré died on December 30, 2016. [10]


Episcopal succession[edit]

Catholic Church titles
Preceded by
John Aloysius Marshall
Bishop of Springfield in Massachusetts
Succeeded by
Timothy A. McDonnell