Priest's Bishop Seeks His Dismissal
Delaware Diocese Approaches Vatican about Priest, Who Faces Sex Charge in Syracuse
By Rene´e K. Gadoua
October 25, 2006
DeLuca A day after Syracuse police charged a retired Delaware priest with sexually abusing a minor, his bishop in Wilmington, Del., informed the Vatican the diocese was requesting he be removed from the priesthood.
The Thursday accusation, at least the fourth against the Rev. Francis G. DeLuca, convinced officials in the Diocese of Wilmington that further action should be taken, said Robert G. Krebs, speaking for the diocese.
Krebs said the diocese Friday told the Vatican's Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith of its intention, and the official paperwork followed.
If the Vatican chooses to dismiss Krebs from the clerical state, he will no longer be a priest in the Roman Catholic Church. That process could take at least a year.
City police Thursday charged DeLuca, 77, of 100 Pastime Drive, Syracuse, with five misdemeanors accusing him of repeated sexual contact with a minor.
He was accused in 1993 in Wilmington of sexually abusing a boy in the 1960s, Krebs said. The diocese removed DeLuca from ministry and barred him from wearing clerical garb, presenting himself as a priest or administering sacraments in public, Krebs said.
At the time, the diocese allowed DeLuca to retire, citing health reasons, Krebs said.
In 2002, after the clergy sexual-abuse scandal gained national attention, three or four people alleged that DeLuca had abused them in the 1960s, Krebs said.
The Wilmington Diocese then reported the alleged sexual abuse to Delaware's attorney general, Krebs said. DeLuca was not charged with any crime in Delaware, he said.
Renee K. Gadoua can be reached at email@example.com or 470-2203.
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