Pastor who worked in Delaware schools removed after sex misconduct allegations

By Rose Velazquez
Salisbury Daily Times
July 25, 2019

This photo of Reverend William J. Porter ran in a September 2003 edition of The Daily Times when he was named pastor of Holy Name of Jesus in Pocomoke City, Maryland.

[with video]

A pastor accused in March of sexual misconduct with a teenager in Delaware nearly 40 years ago has been removed from ministry.

A Thursday statement from the Catholic Diocese of Wilmington shows Rev. William J. Porter, 71, has been pastor at Holy Name of Jesus in Pocomoke City, Maryland, since 2003.

The diocese said he was accused March 1 of sexual misconduct 38 years ago at Our Lady of Fatima Parish in New Castle.

Porter's accuser was a teenager at the time the allegations occurred, according to the statement. After the diocese notified Delaware State Police and the Delaware Attorney General's Office, police launched an investigation.

According to the diocese statement, Delaware State Police concluded its investigation July 19 when it determined the case occurred outside the statute of limitations. Porter remains under investigation by Wilmington Police because of similar allegations, the statement said.

"Therefore, the Most Reverend W. Francis Malooly, Bishop of the Diocese of Wilmington, has now removed Father Porter from ministry and suspended his faculties to exercise priestly ministries. The Diocese of Wilmington has and will continue to cooperate fully with all civil authorities in their investigation of this matter," the diocese statement said.

The Catholic Diocese of Wilmington includes 56 parishes, 18 missions and 36 schools in Delaware and the nine counties of Maryland’s Eastern Shore.

Porter was ordained in 1975 and was pastor at St. Luke & St. Andrew in Ocean City, Maryland, between 1991 and 2003. Before that, the diocese said he was a faculty member at St. Elizabeth High School in Wilmington from 1982 to 1991 and at Saint Mark's High School in Wilmington from 1979 to 1982.

The statement shows he was also an assistant principal at St. Elizabeth High School from 1977 to 1978 and an associate pastor at St. Elizabeth Parish in Wilmington from 1975 to 1977.


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