Tod Brown

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For the baseball coach, see Tod Brown (baseball).
His Excellency, The Most Reverend
Tod David Brown
Bishop Emeritus of Orange
Province Los Angeles
See Orange
Appointed June 30, 1998
Term ended September 21, 2012
Predecessor Norman Francis McFarland
Successor Kevin Vann
Ordination May 1, 1963
by Aloysius Joseph Willinger
Consecration April 3, 1989
by William Levada
Personal details
Born (1936-11-15) November 15, 1936 (age 80)
San Francisco, California
Previous post Bishop of Boise (1989–1998)
Coat of arms {{{coat_of_arms_alt}}}
Styles of
Tod Brown
Mitre (plain).svg
Reference style The Most Reverend
Spoken style Your Excellency
Religious style Bishop
Posthumous style not applicable
Coat of arms of Bishop Tod D. Brown, Bishop Emeritus of Orange

Tod David Brown (born November 15, 1936) is an American bishop and retired prelate of the Roman Catholic Church in Idaho and southern California. He served as Bishop of Boise from 1989 to 1998 and as Bishop of Orange from 1998 to 2012.[1]

Born and raised in northern California, Brown studied in California and in Rome before being ordained to the priesthood in 1963. As a priest Brown held several positions in the Diocese of Monterey. In 1988 the Vatican appointed Brown as Bishop of Boise, and he was consecrated bishop in April 1989. He was appointed as the third Bishop of Orange in 1998, and held that position until he reached the mandatory retirement age for bishops in 2012.

Early life and priesthood[edit]

Born in San Francisco to George W. and Edna Anne (née Dunn) Brown, Brown has a younger brother, Daniel. His ancestry includes Danish, Irish, English, and Azorean nationalities.[2]

After receiving his primary education in northern California, he attended Ryan Seminary in Fresno and St. John's Seminary in Camarillo, from where he obtained his Bachelor of Arts degree. Brown then traveled to Rome to study at the Pontifical North American College and the Pontifical Gregorian University, there earning a bachelor's in Sacred Theology. Brown also earned Master's in biblical theology and education from the University of San Francisco.

He was ordained to the priesthood on May 1, 1963, for the service of the Diocese of Monterey. During his priestly ministry, Brown served as a parochial vicar, pastor, chairman of the Divine Worship Commission, chairman and member of the Presbyterial Council and Priests Pension Committee, and member of the Diocesan Board of Education. He was chancellor, curial moderator, and vicar general of Monterey as well.

Episcopal career[edit]

On December 27, 1988, Brown was appointed the sixth Bishop of Boise City, Idaho, by Pope John Paul II. He was consecrated on April 3, 1989 by Archbishop William Levada, with Bishops Sylvester Treinen and Thaddeus Shubsda serving as co-consecrators. He assumed as his episcopal motto, "Come Lord Jesus" (Revelation 22:20). While in Boise, Brown dealt with several incidents involving priest misconduct.[3][4] After nearly a decade in Idaho, he returned to his native California upon being named the third Bishop of Orange on June 30, 1998.

Brown had similar issues in Orange,[1][4] and was himself accused in 2007 of sexually abusing a boy age 12 in 1965.[5]

Within the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, Brown chaired the BCEIA Subcommittee on Interreligious Dialogue and was on the Orthodox-Roman Catholic Bishop's Dialogue and the Pontifical Council on Interreligious Dialogue. He was also a chairman of the Laity Committee and the Committee on Ecumenism and Interreligious Affairs.

His resignation as bishop of Orange was accepted by Pope Benedict XVI on September 21, 2012, in accordance with Canon 401 § 1 of the Code of Canon Law (all bishops must submit an offer of resignation to the Pope upon reaching their 75th birthday, which for Brown was in 2011). The same day, Pope Benedict named bishop Kevin William Vann (originally a priest of the Diocese of Springfield in Illinois, and bishop of the Diocese of Fort Worth in Texas, in the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex) to succeed Brown as bishop of Orange.[6]

In 2012, the diocese acquired the bankrupt Crystal Cathedral in Garden Grove; it was renamed "Christ Cathedral" and is under renovation to become the seat of the diocese, expected to open in 2016.


  1. ^ a b Irving, Doug (September 20, 2012). "O.C. Catholic Bishop Tod D. Brown stepping down". Orange County Register. 
  2. ^ Diocese of Orange. Bishop Brown's Coat of Arms
  3. ^ "Man accuses priest of molestation". Lewiston Morning Tribune. Associated Press. September 27, 1993. p. 5A. 
  4. ^ a b Arellano, Gustavo (July 15, 2010). "Tod Brown's own private Idaho". OC Weekly. 
  5. ^ Srisavasdi, Rachanee (September 30, 2007). "Brown accuser talks about his past". The Orange County Register. Retrieved August 7, 2012. 
  6. ^

External links[edit]

Episcopal lineage
Consecrated by: William Levada
Consecrator of
Bishop Date of consecration
Jaime Soto May 31, 2000
Dominic Mai Luong June 11, 2003
Cirilo Flores March 19, 2009
Catholic Church titles
Preceded by
Norman Francis McFarland
Bishop of Orange
Succeeded by
Kevin Vann
Preceded by
Sylvester William Treinen
Bishop of Boise
Succeeded by
Michael Patrick Driscoll