INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – The Archdiocese of Indianapolis introduced its new archbishop Tuesday morning.
Pope Francis named Bishop Charles C. Thompson as the seventh archbishop of Indianapolis. Thompson was introduced during a Tuesday morning news conference. He’ll succeed Cardinal Joseph Tobin, who was relocated to Newark, N.J., last year.
Thompson received a thunderous round of applause from the crowd upon his introduction.
“I hope you feel that way when I retire,” Thompson quipped. “I hope you can understand my Kentucky accent.”
“I could never have imagined that I would serve as archbishop of Indianapolis,” he said. “Following Cardinal Joseph Tobin is more than a daunting task.”
Displaying good humor throughout his introduction, Thompson said he’s happy to be “Back Home Again in Indiana” as he moves from Evansville to the Circle City. He thanked all of those who’ve helped him along the way.
“These past six years [in Evansville], I’ve been blessed—very blessed—to serve with such wonderful priests,” he said. “All of you in southwestern Indiana have helped to form and educate me.”
He said southwestern Indiana would always have a special place in his heart. Now he’s ready to turn his attention to Indianapolis.
“I pledge to dedicate myself to you without hesitation or reservation. Together we’ll build upon an incredible foundation that already exists.”
Thompson, 56, is the oldest of three children and was born in Louisville, Ky., according to the archdiocese. He attended Moore High School in Louisville and graduated from Bellarmine College in 1979 with a degree in accounting. He attended St. Meinrad School of Theology in Indiana, where he earned a master of divinity degree in 1987. He received his Licentiate (Master in Canon Law) from Ottawa’s St. Paul University in 1992.
Thompson was ordained as a priest for the Archdiocese of Louisville in May 1987. His previous assignments include: Associate Pastor of St. Joseph Proto-Cathedral, in Bardstown, 1987-90; Part-time Associate Pastor of St. Francis of Assisi Parish, in Louisville, 1992-93; Metropolitan Judicial Vicar & Director of Tribunals, 1993-98; Parish Administrator of St. Peter Claver Parish, in Louisville, 1994-96; Pastor of St. Augustine Parish, in Lebanon, 1996-2002; Pastor of Holy Trinity Parish, in Louisville, 2002-June 2011).
He also served as Promoter of Justice and Judge of the Tribunal, as well as priest-chaplain to Sacred Heart of Academy (2004-2011). In 2002, he began serving as Visiting Professor of Canon Law at St. Meinrad School of Theology. (Other prior assignments have included the following: Priest-chaplain to Bethlehem High School, in Bardstown, 1987-90; Priest-chaplain to Presentation Academy, in Louisville, 1995-97; Temporary Administrator to St. Elizabeth of Hungary and St. Rita Parishes). He served as Vicar General of Louisville, 1 July 2008 until June 2011, when he became Bishop of Evansville.
Thompson’s Installation Mass is scheduled for Friday, July 28. He’ll also receive the Pallium, the insignia of his role as Metropolitan of the Indiana Province.