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College of Cardinals

Biographical notes

[Updated: 15.01.2014]


Notice: the biographical notes are only a working instrument for the press.


COLLINS Card. Thomas Christopher


Cardinal Thomas Christopher Collins, Archbishop of Toronto (Canada), was born on 16 January 1947 in Guelph, Ontario, Canada.

He was ordained a priest on 5 May 1973. He holds a BA and MA in English, and a BA in theology. In 1978 he studied in Rome, specializing in sacred scripture and the Book of Revelations at the Pontifical Bible Institute, and in 1986 he received a doctorate in theology from the Pontifical Gregorian University.

On 25 March 1997 he was appointed coadjutor Bishop of Saint Paul in Alberta. He received episcopal ordination on 14 May 1997, and on 30 June 1997, he became Bishop. He has served as rector of Saint Peter’s Seminary, London,  Canada, president of the National Theological Commission of the Bishops’ Conference, president of the National Commission for Ecumenism, president of the Conference of Bishops of Alberta, president of Saint Joseph’s College Board of Governors at the University of Alberta.

On 18 February 1999 he was appointed coadjutor Bishop of Edmonton and later succeeded as Archbishop of Edmonton on 7 June of the same year. In 2001, while in Edmonton he was named Apostolic Administrator of Saint Paul and held these positions until he was appointed Archbishop of Toronto on 16 December 2006. 

He has also served as Chancellor of the University of Saint Michael’s College and the Pontifical Institute of Mediaeval Studies in Toronto, and Chair of the Board of Governors of Saint Augustine’s Seminary and of the Redemptoris Mater Missionary Seminary.

In 2008 he was elected president of the Ontario Conference of Catholic Bishops.

He also participated in the Synod of Bishops at a Special Assembly for the Middle East in October 2010. He has assisted the Holy Father as an Apostolic Visitor in Ireland and also as the Delegate of the Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith for Anglicanorum Coetibus.

Created and proclaimed Cardinal by Benedict XVI in the consistory of 18 February 2012, of the Title of San Patrizio (Saint Patrick).

Member of:

  • Congregation for Catholic Education;

  • Pontifical Council for Social Communications;

  • Cardinal Commission for the Supervision of the Institute for the Works of Religion (IOR).



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