Bishop Deeley appointed Bishop of Diocese of Portland

From the Boston Pilot: Bishop Deeley appointed as the 12th Bishop of the Diocese of Portland

PORTLAND—Pope Francis has appointed the Most Rev. Robert P. Deeley, J.C.D., Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Boston, as the 12th Bishop of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Portland.

The Holy Father’s appointment was announced on Wednesday, December 18, at 6 a.m. EST at the Vatican. The date of Bishop Deeley’s Installation Mass will be Friday, February 14, 2014, at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception in Portland.

“As I prepare to serve the faithful of the Diocese of Portland as their new bishop and shepherd, I wish to offer my gratitude first to our Holy Father Pope Francis for entrusting me with this honor and responsibility and to Cardinal Seán O’Malley, who has taught me much of what it means to be a faithful shepherd through his word and example,” said Bishop Deeley in a statement. “Kindly pray for me and for all God’s holy people that we may be what the Lord calls us to be, the community of the Church showing forth the love that God has shown us in his Son, Jesus.”

Bishop Richard J. Malone, the current Apostolic Administrator of the Diocese of Portland, will hold a press conference this morning to introduce Bishop-Designate Deeley at the Diocese of Portland’s Chancery Office, located on 510 Ocean Avenue in Portland, starting at 10 a.m. Media members are encouraged to attend and are asked to arrive no earlier than 9:30 a.m.

The Most Rev. Robert P. Deeley, 67, was ordained Auxiliary Bishop of Boston on January 4, 2013, at the Cathedral of the Holy Cross in Boston. He has served as Vicar General and Moderator of the Curia of the Archdiocese of Boston since September 1, 2011.

“We have known each other from the day we entered the seminary in September 1964,” said Bishop Malone. “While our educational journeys and ministerial assignments took us in different directions, our paths have intersected many times in these nearly 40 years we have known each other. And so it is that I can promise the people of our great Diocese of Portland that they will be pastored by a man who is, in St. Timothy’s words, truly ‘strong, loving and wise’ (2 Timothy 1:7). I know that our faithful people will welcome and collaborate with Bishop Deeley in the same spirit of warmth and openness that they showed to me in 2004 when Blessed John Paul II entrusted me with the pastoral leadership of the Diocese of Portland.”

“Pope Francis has blessed the clergy, religious and faithful of the Diocese of Portland by naming the Most Rev. Robert P. Deeley as their twelfth bishop,” said Cardinal Seán O’Malley, Archbishop of Boston. “The Archdiocese of Boston will greatly miss Bishop Deeley’s leadership that follows from a deep love for the Church. In particular, guidance of Disciples in Mission, the Archdiocese’s pastoral planning initiative, has helped us to begin the process of planning for the future. The Bishop’s significant experience in the life and work of the universal Church will greatly assist the people he serves as they carry out the mission entrusted to them by Jesus Christ. Our prayerful congratulations are with Bishop Deeley as he goes forward to lead the Diocese of Portland.”

Born in Cambridge, MA, Bishop Deeley grew up in Belmont, MA, as the fourth in a family of five sons. His parents, Michael and Mary, now deceased, were born in County Galway, Ireland. His family belonged to Sacred Heart Parish in Watertown, MA, and Bishop Deeley attended Matignon High School in North Cambridge. Following high school, he entered Cardinal O’Connell Minor Seminary in Jamaica Plain to discern a vocation to the priesthood. After two years of college, he received a Theodore Basselin Foundation Scholarship and began philosophy studies at The Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C., from which he graduated in 1968. In 1972, he earned a degree in Theology (S.T.B.) from the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome. Following a year of continuing studies in theology, he returned to Boston and was ordained to the priesthood on July 14, 1973, at his home parish, Sacred Heart in Watertown.

His first local assignment was as associate pastor at St. Bartholomew parish in Needham. In 1978, with his appointment as Secretary to the Metropolitan Tribunal of the Archdiocese of Boston, Bishop Deeley began a ministry on the Tribunal which would last for over twenty years, the last ten of which he served as Judicial Vicar (1989-1999). Throughout that period, apart from his years of graduate study in Rome in Canon Law, he lived at Mary Immaculate of Lourdes Parish in Newton and St. Brigid Parish in Lexington where he was able to provide priestly presence and assistance. He was named a Prelate of Honor (Monsignor) on December 13, 1995.

Bishop Deeley was named pastor of St. Ann Parish in the Wollaston section of Quincy in 1999. He assumed the presidency of the Canon Law Society of America in 2000. He went to Rome in September 2004 to assist as an Official at the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. Then, he served at the Congregation until being named Vicar General and Moderator of the Curia of the Archdiocese of Boston in the summer of 2011.

Additional materials will be provided at this morning’s press conference and will be available online at leading up to the Installation Mass on February 14, the feast day of St. Cyril and St. Methodius. For those unable to attend today, a second release will be issued this afternoon including coverage of the press conference.

BCI congratulates Bishop Deeley on this appointment.  We had high hopes for him when he was initially appointed Vicar General of Boston. Some of those hopes were realized, but many were not. We have heard for some time that Bishop Deeley was  looking to have his own diocese, and we wish him much success with his new role and responsibilities.  It will be interesting to see who is appointed as his replacement. That person will play a very key role in the implementation of the DIM pastoral plan (Disciples in Mission).

27 Responses to Bishop Deeley appointed Bishop of Diocese of Portland

  1. D Paul says:

    At the same time of this appointment, it was announced that Archbishop Raymond Burke had been been basically “fired” from his position on the committee for the selection of bishops. He was replaced with Donald Cardinal Wuerl of DC. Wuerl is known to be “gay friendly” and a moderate influence on the actions of Catholic pro abortion politicians who serve in Congress which is within the jurisdiction of his archdiocese. Wuerl was written about a goodly number of times by the Jesuit advisor at Vatican II, Malachi Martin and it was not complimentary. You have to be blind not to understand the implications of training priests to be “pastoral”. There is no sin only psychological aberration. They are becoming little more than “parish mascots” with an emphasis on the laity running things as “the people of God”. The long range plan according to the Jesuit Teilhard de Chardin with evident support by our new Jesuit leader is for the phasing out of Vatican control and the selection of priests and bishops by the local “religious” community. The goal is to Christianize the world by having one party socialist rule. This is beautiful rhetoric. However, the national socialism of the 40s was met with great acclaim by the bishops of Germany, Austria, and Croatia. I wonder how that worked out?

  2. Conor says:

    I would be interested in the opinion of the people of Massachusetts who are faithful to Catholic tradition on Bishop Keeley. We have been ever-growing population of Latin Mass attendees at two locations in Maine. From what I can see going on down there, things don’t look too promising for us! Ironically most of the attendees at Mass are parents and their children who grew up after the reforms of the second Vatican council. Ora pro nobis Sancta Dei Genitrix!

    • j says:

      Try not to take some of the comments too seriously. The Extraordinary form is alive and thriving in the Boston Archdiocese, and every year sees an increase in the number of faithful who attend, and a rapid increase in the number of Priests who Celebrate or learn it (there are several dozen, and more with each Seminary class). Even though you hear a lot of doom and gloom from one of the half dozen Parishes where it is Celebrated, I don’t think that even the majority of that Parish’s congregation is going to abandon the Roman Catholic, or the Parish church if a particular Pastor isn’t retained (though you can’t tell that from the commentators).

      Bishop Deeley knows and can Celebrate the Extraordinary Form Mass, and he knows Rubrics well. He isn’t opposed at all to the EF, but would probably move quickly to stop any dissent that becomes associated with such a community. He would do that with an OF community as well, if Boston is a guide, so that isn’t an EF attitude. He has a reputation as a tough, hard-nosed, even gruff administrator, but isn’t mean. He is also pretty Orthodox, and knowledgeable, and effective. If you want to expand or grow your communities, think through what you want to do, give a realistic picture of how many people are interested and how you can support the Priests who Celebrate and the Parishes where the Mass is Celebrated. Try to make sure there is no bunker mentality, that you don’t become a center for anti-OF-Catholic sentiment, but a positive forward-thinking group that promotes the EF. Make sure you do your homework, and be reasonable.

      • tyringtofigurethisout says:

        1- would you mind naming the 6 parishes in the archdiocese where the extraordinary form is celebrated? ( and not banished to the basement at some obscure time that makes it very family unfriendly ) ….2- would you also mind naming one other parish in the archdiocese where the ef is celebrated with a community of young families that gather after the mass for meals, fellowship and support EVERY week? 3- would you also mind naming another parish in the archdiocese that has a pastor who celebrates both the ordinary form and the extraordinary form in a manner that has such a reverence about it that people are willing to drive over 40 miles each week for both the ef and the of ?…….. your shot at Mary Immaculate shows you just don’t get it….you don’t get the beauty of a bi rite parish that has a continuity that forms and fosters a love for the EF through the OF…It seems it would be safe to say you do not have small children that you are trying to introduce to the FAITH in a way that maximizes the odds that it will stick…. families and young children are the future of the church…..they have been trying the teen mass approach for years now… it doesn’t work…..try being a little more objective in your analysis of the situation …..

      • Concerned Parent says:

        I don’t know where you’re reporting from, but what you’ve described bears no resemblance to reality in regard to availability of the EF in the AoB. We’ll see what the final fate of the EF at MIL is, but from what we’ve been told it does not look promising. I’m astonished by your rosy description of the current situation as it pertains to the EF.

      • J, People should not take your comments too seriously, as you have a few facts wrong. Other readers have beaten BCI to the punch in highlighting a few of the issues.


      • Stephen says:

        Pray, hope, don’t worry.
        Padre Pio

        Don’t worry be happy.
        Bob Marley

        Beware of those warning to be positive, forward-thinking and reasonable. When you start from a position that is labeled as negative, backward-thinking and unreasonable the deck is stacked. Know your rights and exercise them.

  3. Chris says:

    Bishop Deeley has been a disappointment. Morale among priests is just as bad as it was when he arrived (probably worse). He has not been known as a defender of the faith. He has not spoken out on the issues of importance here in Boston during his tenure. He did not lead the crackdown on dissident clergy and religious, especially on the gay mafia, that some had hoped he would. For a man of his touted abilities, there is little to remember fondly. I doubt there will be a long process of grieving, even in the chancery. And that is a waste in this time and this place of great need.

    Deeley, we hardly knew ye.

  4. Justyn Tyme says:

    2 Years to name a Bishop for Portland! Is there not 1 priest in that Diocese that could have been named? I understand that Pope Francis has stopped making Monsignors: THANK GOD. Priesthood is a vocation not a career. Now he needs to stop making Auxilary Bishops and instead have Ordinaries name various priests of a Diocese as Episcopal Vicars w/Extraordinary Faculties e.g Confirmations and with term limits e.g. 3 yrs. and rotate them.
    This would solve the priesthood as a career issue as these individuals have no desire/intention to “smell like the sheep.”
    This is one major step in purifying the priesthood of ” Hypocrites, Brood of Vipers, Whitened Sepulcers.” Its called Clerical Cleansing! New Evangelization: Conversion of Bishops/Priests which will be done by the Laity. Pray for the conversion of the clergy because in the end for them it needs to be about Personal HOLINESS and Pastoral SERVICE!

  5. Chris Whittle says:

    I feel good for Bishop Deeley that he now has his own diocese, but remember that he was only consecrated bishop last January. So being a Boston auxiliary meant he got his feet wet as a bishop, and then appointed to run his own diocese a year later.

    I am a little surprised he got this appointment within a year after ordination at age 67, so is this mean that the age 75 limit rule will go the way of the dinosaur and bishops will have lifetime appointments once again?

    Speaking of the Latin Mass, Pope Francis earlier this year appointed Westminster (England) auxiliary Alan Hopes as Bishop of East Anglia at age 69. Bishop Hopes is an Anglican convert who regularly celebrates the TLM.

    In my opinion, Boston has too many auxiliary bishops who just sit on the sidelines and don’t do much. They are basically the “farm club” for when a diocese is vacant, they look to the major archdioceses who have a surplus of auxiliary bishops.


  6. Alex MacDonald says:

    Good riddance. Deeley was/is/will always be [moderated by BCI]

  7. Objective Observer says:

    Bob Deeley can relieve Richard Malone of the brutal commute from Albany to Portland. Malone succeeding himself in Portland while taking on his new see in Albany made no sense to anyone, least of all the priests in Albany.

    Deeley is a capable and intelligent administrator. Having looked under the hood in Boston, he likely realizes that the financial scandal cannot be resolved, that the VG has no ability to keep RCAB from ignoring the canons on subsidiarity and the civil law on misappropriation, and so it’s time to take the next train leaving the station.

    Bob Deeley cannot change his stripes. If he can get to Rome on a regular basis (perhaps appointed to a reformatted council or committee with O’Malley’s help), my guess is he’ll be content for a while. He will not inspire lapsed Catholics to return to their sacraments, nor will he rally the presbyterate. He will keep the wheels on the wagon.

    He should consider sending highly specific and articulate memos to the Boston ordinary and chancellor specifying that he renounces any financial sleights of hand Corp Sole has perpetrated on his watch. Under the civil law the VG is on the hot seat as civil POA for the ordinary. He wants to be clear that misappropriation in particular from non-Corp Sole entities has no place in the workings of the civil entity Corporation Sole. He might also mention that he specifically disapproves of the conversion of both restricted donations to the Appeal and bequests. Those memos will come in handy if he is ever deposed by the authorities on his level of complicity or acquiescence, especially as to non-Corp Sole institutions.

    • Concerned Parent says:

      “He might also mention that he specifically disapproves of the conversion of both restricted donations to the Appeal and bequests.”

      As a donor, I’ d like to know by what criteria restricted funds can be converted.

    • Anni says:

      Bishop Malone is Bishop of Buffalo, not Albany. The Albany See, however, will be vacant soon as Bishop Hubbard has offered his resignation on his 75th birthday.

  8. Stephen says:

    The editorial staff of BCI has obviously changed several months ago. The efforts to be as ‘moderate’ as the Pilot is noticeable. Yet again the modernist pull the seamless garment over the Faithful’s eyes by the ‘lets all be reasonable’ rubbish.

    On the pages of BCI it was noted recently that Cardinal Law brought forth Female alter servers to the universal church.

    Could BCI confirm this?

    It has been noted many many places and well documented that this has had a catastrophic effect on vocations. (even if Fr. Coyne disputes this by his personal anecdotes)

  9. Stephen says:

    identify not identity- king jerk

  10. Stephen says:

    “our current blogging strategy is not entirely to your liking,”

    Yes of course, because it is all about my liking right?

    Before I fade away into cyberspace and reflect on what BCI once represented could you please clearly define what your blogging strategy is?

    For clarity: Strategy =
    a plan of action or policy designed to achieve a major or overall aim.

    • BCI believes we represent today the same thing we represented when we started, except with less frequency. Why less frequent posts? Some of the corruption of our early days mitigated somewhat after we exposed it and the precious chancellor was pushed out, and the earlier pace of blogging became difficult to keep up with after 3 years.


      • Stephen says:

        So in other words resting on your laurels?
        If your mission was to be an annoyance to the powers that be and to harass a few people who you describe as precious or in your opinion are overpaid I suppose your mission has been accomplished. And most sad? You have proven your critics correct.

        If you can’t restate your mission, you no longer have one.
        The slide into irrelevant niceness as Michael Voris would perhaps describe it, is the course of least resistance.

        BCI has been eviscerated. When the crotchety Latin Scholar Jack O’Malley was banished from the blog is was the beginning of the end.

        So is it time to wrap it up? I suspect the editorship is in the hands of a double agent clergyman tasked to smooth it all out in the face of the Modernist Heresy.

        “Some of the corruption of our early days mitigated somewhat after we exposed it”
        Is that a joke?

      • Stephen,

        Our original goal with the blog was to help expose deception and corruption (fiscal and moral) in the Boston Archdiocese and give faithful Catholics a place where they could voice their perspectives and complaints that have been ignored by the Boston Archdiocese. The act of our doing so pressured the Boston Archdiocese to make at least a few changes to correct some problems.

        This is a comment made by a reader back in 2010:

        The blog has brought to reality my longtime desire to enable this particular Church to know the truthwithout being traumatized into still another heartache. The blog has pulled back the curtain with good will, good humor and, most importantly, superb documentation. No hearts were broken to produce this blog! (OK, maybe a couple of frowns cracked around #66, but that was to be expected.)

        The abuse crisis, and to a lesser extent the parish closings and the pension mess (both lay and clergy) have resulted in some people punishing themselves by separation from their sacraments. They wanted to slam the door on the people who broke their hearts, but instead they slammed themselves out. The blog is allowing a difficult truth to be understood, and most importantly, allowing people to think how to go about addressing it. They arent storming out of the Church they are storming into the conversation.

        The original goal remains our goal and focus today.

        As far as Jack O’Malley, his last comment at BCI was on this post:

        He complained that we were moderating comments, and one of his comments delayed 5 minutes between when he submitted it and when it went live.

        Why did we start moderating comments in the first place? See this:

        “The need for BCI to now moderate comments arose because a few people have ignored our repeated requests to abide by two simple guidelinesstick to the main topic of the blog post, and avoid personal attacks/ad hominems. To be honest, you are one of those people.”

        What is an example of the kind of comment we have moderated that constitutes a personal attack? “____ is a mean spirited, petty, and incompetent bureaucrat.” Sorry, we cannot let everyone make ad hominems like this on anyone they choose to attack, regardless of whether the claim has any validity.

        That has been our policy since the very beginning and it remains our policy today. This is all we are saying about our strategy. Take it or leave it..

      • One more thing–Jack O’Malley was not “banished” from the blog. He got upset that we were moderating comments and there was a 5 minute delay in posting one of his comments. He is welcome back if he so chooses.

  11. Stephen says:

    May God help me, I’m one of ‘those’ people!
    Oh my, I’m a hater just like Duck Dynasty.
    I hear you loud and clear.
    I stand by my assessment.
    It should be an interesting ride with Pope Francis.

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