William Francis Malooly
Bishop Emeritus of Wilmington
AppointedJuly 7, 2008
InstalledSeptember 8, 2008
Term endedApril 30, 2021
PredecessorMichael Saltarelli
SuccessorWilliam Edward Koenig
OrdinationMay 9, 1970
by Thomas Austin Murphy
ConsecrationMarch 1, 2001
by William Henry Keeler, William Donald Borders, and William Clifford Newman
Personal details
Born (1944-01-18) January 18, 1944 (age 78)
DenominationRoman Catholic Church
Previous post(s)
Styles of
William Francis Malooly
Coat of arms of William Francis Malooly.svg
Reference style
Spoken styleYour Excellency
Religious styleBishop

William Francis Malooly (born January 18, 1944) is an American prelate of the Roman Catholic Church. Malooly served as the bishop of the Diocese of Wilmington in Delaware from September 8, 2008 until April 30, 2021.


Early life and education

William Francis Malooly, better known as Francis Malooly or W. Francis Malooly, was born in Baltimore in 1944. He attended St. Ursula School in Parkville, Maryland, then entered St. Charles College for his secondary and undergraduate education. Malooly received his seminary training at St. Mary's Seminary.[1]


Malooly was ordained to the priesthood by his uncle, Bishop Thomas Murphy, on May 9, 1970, in the parish church of St. Ursula[1]Malooly's first assignment after ordination was as associate pastor in 1970 at St. Joseph Parish in Texas. In 1976, he was posted to St. Anthony of Padua Parish in Baltimore.[1] Malooly in 1981 was appointed associate administrator of the Catholic Youth Organization Retreat House in Sparks, Maryland, later serving as its administrator.[1]

In 1984. Malooly was appointed director of clergy personnel for the Archdiocese of Baltimore, then in 1989 was named chancellor and vicar general. Malooly was elevated in 1990 to the rank of an honorary prelate of his holiness. In April 1999, he was awarded the President's Medal by St. Mary's Seminary and University.[1]

Auxiliary Bishop of Baltimore

On December 12, 2000, Malooly was appointed auxiliary bishop of the Archdiocese of Baltimore and titular bishop of Flumenzer by Pope John Paul II. He received his episcopal ordination on March 1, 2001 from Cardinal William Keeler, with Archbishop William Borders and Bishop William Newman serving as co-consecrators, in the Cathedral of Mary Our Queen in Baltimore.[1]

In addition to his role as auxiliary bishop, Malooly was later named western vicar of the archdiocese, serving the thirty-eight parishes and six missions in Allegany, Carroll, Frederick, Garrett, Howard, and Washington counties in Maryland.

In 2006, Malooly received the Cardinal Shehan Award from the Archdiocesan Youth Office and an honorary doctorate in humane letters from Mount Saint Mary's University. He is also a member of the Knights of Malta, and of the board of trustees of Good Samaritan Hospital in Baltimore St. Mary's Seminary and University, and Mount Saint Mary's University in Emmitsburg, Maryland.[1]

Bishop of Wilmington

On July 7, 2008, Pope Benedict XVI appointed Malooly as bishop of the Diocese of Wilmington. He was installed on September 8, 2008.[1] In October 2009, Malooly sought Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection for his diocese after obtaining financial settlements with victims of sexual abuse by diocese priests.[2]

Malooly has been criticized by some Catholic news outlets for refusing to withhold communion from then Vice President Joseph Biden due to his position on abortion rights for women.[3] On September 25, 2008, Malooly made this comment on the issue:

...I do not intend to get drawn into partisan politics nor do I intend to politicize the Eucharist as a way of communicating Catholic Church teaching, It is critical to keep the lines of communication open if the church is going to make her teachings understood and, please God, accepted.[4]

On November 9, 2011, Malooly co-authored a statement opposing legislation in the Delaware General Assembly to legalized same sex marriage, calling it a threat to religious freedom.[5]

In 2017, Netflix released the documentary series The Keepers, an investigation into the 1969 murder of Sister Catherine Cesnik. In 1994, Malooly met with Charles Franz and his mother Denise Franz to discuss their allegations of sexual abuse by Joseph Maskell, a diocese priest, against Charles Franz when he was a minor. In that meeting, Denise Franz said that she had reported Maskell to the archdiocese in 1967. The documentary claims that Malooly falsely denied that claim during the meeting. In an official response, Malooly said he told the Franzes that the archdiocese had no record of that 1967 report on Maskell.

The Keepers also charged that the archdiocese, aware of accusations against Maskell, still allowed him to work at Seton Keough Catholic school from 1968 to 1975, where he abused several dozen children [6] In his statement, Malooly said that he first heard allegations against Maskell in 1992, when Malooly was chancellor of the archdiocese. At that time, the archdiocese removed Maskell from ministry, sent him for treatment and started an investigation. He returned to ministry in 1993 after the archdiocese failed to substantiate the charges against him[7]


On Friday, April 30, 2021, Pope Francis accepted Malooly's resignation as bishop of the Diocese of Wilmington, which Malooly had submitted on his 75th Birthday. The pope appointed Monsignor William Koenig as Malooly's successor.[8]

See also


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h "W. Francis Malooly". Archdiocese of Baltimore. Retrieved 2021-10-24.
  2. ^ "Diocese seeks Chapter 11 protection in sex abuse cases". Reuters. Reuters Editorial. 19 October 2009.
  3. ^ "Biden's bishop and his prochoice sheep". U.S. Catholic magazine. Retrieved 2020-06-09.
  4. ^ "Biden's bishop and his prochoice sheep". U.S. Catholic. Retrieved 2021-10-24.
  5. ^ Sun, Luke Broadwater, The Baltimore. "Md. bishops call on Catholics to oppose same-sex marriage". baltimoresun.com. Retrieved 2021-10-25.
  6. ^ "Bishop Malooly denies Netflix series 'The Keepers' allegations".
  7. ^ "Bishop W. Francis Malooly responds to 'The Keepers'". Archdiocese of Baltimore. Retrieved 2021-10-24.
  8. ^ https://www.catholicnewsagency.com/news/247470/pope-francis-appoints-new-bishop-of-president-bidens-home-diocese /

Episcopal succession

Catholic Church titles Preceded byMichael Angelo Saltarelli Bishop of Wilmington 2008–2021 Succeeded byWilliam Edward Koenig Preceded by– Auxiliary Bishop of Baltimore 2000–2008 Succeeded by–