Diocese of Wilmington Announces the Laicization of Francis G. Deluca

Roman Catholic Diocese of Wilmington

August 7, 2008

August 7, 2008 - (Wilmington, Delaware) - The Catholic Diocese of Wilmington announced today that it recently received a positive response to Bishop Michael Saltarelli’s request to the Vatican that Francis G. DeLuca be dismissed from the priesthood (laicized). The Bishop’s request was made shortly after DeLuca was arrested on charges of misdemeanor sexual abuse in Syracuse, New York in October 2006. 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 cannot be appealed. The decision was effective the moment the Pope issued the decree. Notification of the Pope’s decision was given personally to DeLuca recently by a representative of the Diocese of Wilmington.

DeLuca had been barred from ministry and all exercise of priestly functions originally by Bishop Mulvee in 1993. Bishop Saltarelli reaffirmed his predecessor’s original order soon after he assumed leadership of the diocese in 1996. This decree from the Pope permanently dismisses DeLuca from the priesthood and he is now known as Mr. Deluca.

The Diocese of Wilmington is committed to survivor outreach and their spiritual and emotional wellbeing, having been found in complete compliance with the Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People for five consecutive years. In 2003 the diocese implemented a comprehensive safe environment program entitled “For the Sake of God’s Children”. The Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People and various related documents can be found at Information on the Diocese of Wilmington and its child protection, safe environment and victims assistance programs can be found at

The Catholic Diocese of Wilmington was established in 1868 and comprises 58 parishes, 18 missions and 35 schools serving the State of Delaware and the nine counties of Maryland’s Eastern Shore. There are approximately 233,000 Catholics in the diocese.


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