Skip to content

Pope Francis names NY priest, canon lawyer bishop of Syracuse

Free World Class Education
FREE Catholic Classes

6/4/2019 (2 weeks ago)
Catholic Online (

Pope Francis Tuesday appointed Fr. Douglas Lucia, a canon lawyer, the next bishop of Syracuse, New York.


Catholic Online (
6/4/2019 (2 weeks ago)

Published in Europe

Keywords: Pope Francis, NY priest, lawyer bishop

Vatican City, (CNA) - Lucia, 56, has served as judicial vicar of the diocesan tribunal of Ogdensburg, which is located in the north-eastern part of New York state, since 2017.

Bishop-elect Lucia will take over as head of Syracuse for Bishop Robert J. Cunningham, whose resignation was accepted Tuesday by Pope Francis after he turned 75 '" the ordinary age of retirement '" last June.

In May, Cunningham celebrated his 10th anniversary as bishop of Syracuse and 50th anniversary of his ordination to the priesthood with a Mass of Thanksgiving at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception.

Cunningham was bishop of Ogdensburg from 2004 to 2009.

In 2015, Cunningham came under criticism for comments he made during a 2011 deposition for a federal lawsuit filed by a man claiming to have been sexually abused by a Syracuse priest as a child.

According to local news site, in the deposition, the bishop said the alleged victim was "culpable" in the situation, though later in the same deposition he retracted, saying he could not judge culpability without knowing the complete circumstances.

After the 2015 news report, Cunningham issued a public letter clarifying that he had "tried my best to answer questions and I must admit gave responses that I wish were different."

"Bottom line is I cannot go back and change my words but I can assure you that I did not believe the individual involved in the case was at fault," Cunningham wrote. "Victims of abuse are never at fault!"

The Diocese of Syracuse released a list of 57 priests credibly accused of abusing a minor, with some of the charges dating back to the 1950s, Dec. 1, 2018.

Stressing that no clergy credibly accused of abuse of a minor are in active ministry, Bishop Cunningham said the list includes both deceased priests and living priests removed from all ministry.

The Diocese of Syracuse serves over 237,000 Catholics in seven counties in central and south-central New York State.

Lucia was born March 17, 1963 in Plattsburgh, New York. After studying at Wadhamns Hall Seminary College and Christ the King Seminary in East Aurora, he was ordained a priest for the diocese of Ogdensburg, New York in 1989.

Lucia served as a parochial vicar in several parishes, including Saint Mary's Cathedral, over the next eight years. From 1997-1999 he studied for and received a license in canon law from the University of St. Thomas in Rome.

After returning to New York, Lucia administrated Saint Mary Parish in Canton, and served as adjutant secretary of the diocesan tribunal and part-time chaplain of Gouverneur Correctional Facility.

Over the years Lucia has also served as particular secretary to the bishop and vice-chancellor, adjutant judicial vicar, director of seminarians, and chancellor and episcopal vicar for Diocesan Services.

From 2000 to 2006 and from 2016 to 2019, the priest has been diocesan director of vocations. He has also served as director of seminarians.

He has been pastor at six parishes in the Diocese of Ogdensburg, most recently Saint Mary Parish in Waddington and Saint John the Baptist in Madrid.

Lucia has been judicial vicar since 2017, and understands Spanish, Italian, and French, in addition to English.

The date of the bishop-elect's ordination and installation as the 11th bishop of Syracuse will be announced soon and will take place at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception in Syracuse.

Lucia and Cunningham will hold a joint press conference and celebrate Mass together June 4.


'Help Give every Student and Teacher FREE resources for a world-class Moral Catholic Education'

Copyright 2019 - Distributed by THE CALIFORNIA NETWORK


More Europe

Efforts to ease tensions over Orange walks in Glasgow Watch

Image of

Some figures in the Catholic Church and Protestant loyalist groups in Scotland are seeking to reach a compromise regarding Protestant ... continue reading

German doctors fined for abortion ads Watch

Image of

Two German doctors were fined Friday for abortion advertisements which described how the procedure is carried out. Berlin, Germany, (CNA) - ... continue reading

Pope Francis: The Holy Spirit unites the Church, despite sin and scandal Watch

Image of

 Pope Francis said Wednesday that the Holy Spirit unites and grows the Church despite human limitations, sins and scandal. Vatican ... continue reading

Church in Scotland urged to update sex abuse reporting and prevention protocols Watch

Image of

 A Scottish Catholic organization set up to prevent, report and audit allegations of sexual abuse within the Church can do even more ... continue reading

Vatican quashes rumors of Benedict XVI stroke Watch

Image of

Pope Benedict XVI is not dead and did not recently suffer a stroke, the Vatican confirmed on Tuesday. Vatican City, (CNA) - On Monday, ... continue reading

Never Miss any Updates!

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers.

Deacon Keith Fournier Hi readers, it seems you use Catholic Online a lot; that's great! It's a little awkward to ask, but we need your help. If you have already donated, we sincerely thank you. We're not salespeople, but we depend on donations averaging $14.76 and fewer than 1% of readers give. If you donate just $5.00, the price of your coffee, Catholic Online School could keep thriving. Thank you. Help Now >

Learn about Catholic world

Catholic Online
Inform - Inspire - Ignite

Catholic Online Saints
Your saints explained

Catholic Online Prayers
Prayers for every need

Catholic Online Bible
Complete bible online

Catholic Online News
Your news Catholic eye

Daily Reading
Today's bible reading

Lent / Easter
Death & resurrection of Jesus

Advent / Christmas
Birth of Jesus

Rest of Catholic Online
All Catholic world we offer

Products and services we offer

Catholic Online Shopping
Catholic medals, gifts & books

Advertise on Catholic Online
Your ads on

Catholic Online Email
Email with Catholic feel

Learn the Catholic way

Catholic Online School
Free Catholic education for all

Student Classes
K-12 & Adult Education Classes

Support Free Education
Tax deductible support Free education

Connect with us online

Catholic Online on Facebook
Catholic social network

Catholic Online on Twitter
Catholic Tweets

Catholic Online on YouTube
Enjoy our videos

Catholic Online on Instagram
Shared Catholic moments

Catholic Online on Pinterest
Catholic ideas style inspiration

Catholic Online Logo

Copyright 2019 Catholic Online. All materials contained on this site, whether written, audible or visual are the exclusive property of Catholic Online and are protected under U.S. and International copyright laws, © Copyright 2019 Catholic Online. Any unauthorized use, without prior written consent of Catholic Online is strictly forbidden and prohibited.

Catholic Online is a Project of Your Catholic Voice Foundation, a Not-for-Profit Corporation. Your Catholic Voice Foundation has been granted a recognition of tax exemption under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. Federal Tax Identification Number: 81-0596847. Your gift is tax-deductible as allowed by law.