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Frank Joseph Dewane
Bishop of Venice
AppointedApril 25, 2006
InstalledJanuary 19, 2007
PredecessorJohn Joseph Nevins
OrdinationJuly 16, 1988
ConsecrationJuly 25, 2006
by John Joseph Nevins, John Favalora, and Diarmuid Martin
Personal details
Born (1950-03-09) March 9, 1950 (age 70)
Green Bay, Wisconsin
Styles of
Frank Joseph Dewane
Reference style
Spoken styleYour Excellency
Religious styleBishop

Frank Joseph Dewane (born March 9, 1950) is an American prelate of the Roman Catholic Church. He is the Bishop of Venice, Florida.


Early life and education

Frank Dewane was born in Green Bay, Wisconsin, as the third of the four children of Ben and Eleanor Dewane, Irish Catholics who owned and operated a dairy farm. He attended Denmark High School, where he played lineman on the football team, and worked at an appliance factory during his summer vacations to pay for college.[1]

He studied at the University of Wisconsin–Oshkosh from 1968 to 1972, where he obtained a bachelor's degree, and at the American University in Washington, D.C. from 1973 to 1975, earning a master's degree in international administration. Dewane worked for the NBC in Moscow and then for a subsidiary of PepsiCo in New York City.

He studied philosophy at the University of Notre Dame in South Bend, Indiana (1983–1984), and then traveled to Rome, where he attended the Pontifical North American College (1984–1988) and studied theology at the Pontifical Gregorian University and canon law at the Angelicum.

Priestly ministry

Dewane was ordained to the priesthood on July 16, 1988, and then served as assistant pastor at Ss. Peter and Paul Parish in Green Bay until 1991. He worked for the diocesan tribunal as well.

In 1991, he was named by the Vatican to its Permanent Observer Mission to the United Nations in New York City. Dewane entered the service of the Roman Curia upon becoming an official of the Pontifical Council Cor Unum in 1995. From 2001 to 2006, he served as Undersecretary of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace. During his tenure as Undersecretary, he acted as a Vatican diplomat to numerous international conferences and other events.

Bishop of Venice in Florida

On April 25, 2006, Dewane was appointed Coadjutor Bishop of Venice in Florida by Pope Benedict XVI. He was consecrated on July 25 by Bishop John Nevins, with Archbishops John Favalora and Diarmuid Martin serving as co-consecrators, in Epiphany Cathedral. He took as his episcopal motto: "Iustitia Pax Gaudium", meaning, "Justice, Peace, and Joy" (Romans 14:17).

Dewane later succeeded Nevins as the second Bishop of Venice in Florida on January 19, 2007. As Bishop, he is the spiritual leader of the 250,000 Catholics of Southwest Florida.

Personal views

He is considered to be moderate in his views, being theologically conservative yet economically and socially progressive.[1] However, he aroused a certain controversy shortly after his nomination as Coadjutor Bishop when he stated that Communion should not be withheld to Catholic politicians who oppose some of the Church's public policy positions.[2]

During the 2008 presidential election, Dewane stated, "[The] right to life and dignity of every person ... are fundamental to the health of any society and should therefore, be carefully considered when voting for a particular candidate. After all, in voting we are making moral choices." He added, "As Catholics, we are called upon to respect and protect the rights of all, especially, the unborn child, the weakest and most vulnerable among us. At the same time, the family, the basic unit of society, must be safeguarded, promoted, and protected based on monogamous marriage between a man and a woman."

See also


  1. ^ a b Herald Tribune. An unlikely path to ordination July 23, 2006
  2. ^ Herald Tribune. New bishop plans to be vocal politically July 21, 2006

Episcopal succession

Catholic Church titles
Preceded by
John Joseph Nevins
Bishop of Venice in Florida
Succeeded by
Preceded by
Giampaolo Crepaldi
Undersecretary of the Pontifical Council
for Justice and Peace

Succeeded by
Flaminia Giovanelli