Defrocked: Delaware Pedophile Priest Francis G. Deluca

By Esteban Parra
The News Journal

August 7, 2008

WILMINGTON: A Catholic priest who has been the subject of almost a dozen sex-abuse suits has been dismissed from the priesthood, the Catholic Diocese of Wilmington announced today.

The Wilmington diocese recently learned the Vatican had granted Bishop Michael Saltarelli’s request that Francis G. DeLuca be laicized, or dismissed from the priesthood.

“The bishop’s request was made shortly after DeLuca was arrested on charges of misdemeanor sexual abuse in Syracuse, New York in October 2006,” diocese spokesman Bob Krebs said in a statement. “The decision to laicize Mr. DeLuca was made at the recommendation of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith in Rome and issued by the Holy Father, Pope Benedict XVI.”

The decision was effective the moment the Pope issued the decree and it can not be appealed.

Notification of the Pope’s decision was given personally to DeLuca recently by a representative of the Wilmington diocese.

There have been several sex-abuse suits naming DeLuca since last year.

Robert Quill of Marathon, Fla., was the first to file suit against DeLuca after Delaware adopted the 2007 Child Victim's Act, which eliminated the civil statute of limitations in cases of child sexual abuse and opened a two-year window during which previously time-barred cases could be filed. Quill's suit was settled for an undisclosed amount earlier this year.

DeLuca, 78, ministered in the diocese for more than three decades, retiring to Syracuse in 1993 when allegations of child sexual abuse were raised against him again. He was arrested in 2006, pleaded guilty to abusing a teenage relative in Syracuse over several years, and was sentenced to 60 days in jail.

Contact Esteban Parra at 324-2299 or


Any original material on these pages is copyright © 2004. Reproduce freely with attribution.