July 25, 2019 — (Wilmington, Delaware) — On Friday, March 1, 2019, Catholic Diocese of Wilmington officials received an allegation of sexual misconduct involving a minor against the Reverend William J. Porter. The allegation is reported to have occurred 38 years ago at Our Lady of Fatima Parish in New Castle, Delaware when the accuser was a teenager. In response to the allegation, the Diocese of Wilmington notified the Delaware State Police and the Delaware Attorney General’s office. The Delaware State Police has had this allegation under investigation since the time it was reported in March. On Thursday, July 19, 2019, Diocesan officials received notification from the Delaware State Police that their investigation was complete because the conduct occurred outside of the statute of limitations.
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.
Father Porter is currently under investigation by the Wilmington Police Department for alleged similar conduct. The Diocese of Wilmington encourages anyone who has been sexually abused by a member of the clergy or anyone else, to immediately notify local law enforcement authorities.
Ordained in 1975, Father Porter, age 71, has served as pastor at Holy Name of Jesus in Pocomoke, Maryland since 2003. He was pastor at St. Luke/St. Andrew in Ocean City, Maryland from 1991 to 2003. He was a faculty member at St. Elizabeth High School in Wilmington, Delaware from 1982 to 1991 and served on the faculty at Saint Mark’s High School in Wilmington from 1979 to 1982. Additionally, Father Porter was an associate pastor at St. Catherine of Siena, Wilmington from 1978 to 1979. He was also an Assistant Principal at St. Elizabeth High School from 1977-1978 and an associate pastor at St. Elizabeth Parish, Wilmington from 1975 to 1977.
The Diocese of Wilmington is committed to protecting children and to providing support to survivors of sexual abuse. We recognize the courage of those survivors who come forward to tell their stories after so many years. In acknowledging the pain suffered by survivors of abuse, Bishop Malooly requests the faithful of the Diocese to join him in praying for the healing of all who have been harmed by abuse, for the countless lives affected by such actions, and for the many priests of the Diocese of Wilmington who have been faithful to their vocation and the people they serve.
The Catholic Diocese of Wilmington was established in 1868 and comprises 56 parishes, 18 missions and 36 schools serving the State of Delaware and the nine counties of Maryland’s Eastern Shore. More information is available at www.cdow.org
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Media contact: Bob Krebs