Cardinal O'Malley

Speaking Time(s) and Location(s):

GICC Exhibit Hall A,B,C,D

June 2, 2018 @ 10:00 am

Cardinal Seán Patrick O’Malley, OFM. Cap.

Archbishop of Boston, Homilist during Adoration and Benediction

Cardinal Seán Patrick Cardinal O’Malley, OFM Cap., is the ninth bishop and sixth archbishop in the more than 200 year history of the Archdiocese of Boston. He was born in Lakewood, Ohio, June 29, 1944, son of the late Theodore and Mary Louise (Reidy) O’Malley.

He prepared for the priesthood at St. Fidelis Seminary in Butler, Pennsylvania, and at the Capuchin College in Washington, D.C. He was professed on July 14, 1965 in the Capuchin Order, a religious order dedicated to following in the tradition of St. Francis of Assisi.

On Aug. 29, 1970, Pittsburgh’s Auxiliary Bishop John B. McDowell ordained him a priest of the Order of Friars Minor Capuchin. He then earned a master’s degree in religious education and a doctorate in Spanish and Portuguese literature, both at The Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C., where he also taught from 1969 to 1973.

In 1973, he began serving as executive director of El Centro Catolico Hispano in the Washington Archdiocese before being named episcopal vicar for the Hispanic, Portuguese and Haitian communities and executive director of the archdiocesan Office of Social Ministry in 1978. It was during these early days of his priesthood that Cardinal O’Malley developed a strong commitment to the issues of social justice and care for new immigrants.

Pope John Paul II appointed him as coadjutor bishop of the Diocese of St. Thomas in the Virgin Islands in May 1984. He then became the bishop of the Caribbean diocese in October 1985.

In June 1992 Pope John Paul II announced the appointment of Bishop O’Malley as the sixth bishop of the Diocese of Fall River in Massachusetts.

Cardinal O’Malley was installed at the Cathedral of St. Mary of the Assumption on August 11, 1992, the Feast of St. Clare. At the time, the Diocese of Fall River was reeling in the aftermath of the case of Father James Porter, one of the first high-profile clergy abuse cases in the country.

As Bishop of Fall River, he was widely credited with bringing healing to the diocese following the Porter scandal, settling over 100 clergy abuse cases, meeting with victims and instituting a “zero-tolerance policy” for clergy accused of abuse of minors. During his 10 years in Fall River, he was involved with the wider community both within the diocese itself and in the Commonwealth. He was active in the work of the Massachusetts Catholic Conference, especially on pro-life issues.

In September 2002, Pope John Paul II named him the fourth bishop of the Diocese of Palm Beach, Florida.

After less than a year in Palm Beach, he was appointed by the pope to be archbishop of Boston, which at the time was experiencing its own abuse scandal that had resulted in the resignation of Cardinal Bernard Law.

After being installed on July 30, 2003, Cardinal O’Malley immediately set meetings with victims of clergy sexual abuse, settling new and pending cases, and implementing mandatory child safety training programs. He gained worldwide attention for his decision in April 2004 to sell millions of dollars’ worth of archdiocesan property, including the archbishop’s mansion, to settle clergy abuse claims.

Pope Benedict XVI elevated him to cardinal at the consistory held March 24, 2006 and gave him the titular church of Santa Maria della Vittoria. The Holy Father also named him a member of the Congregation for the Clergy and the Congregation for the Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life.

During a trip to Rome to take formal possession of his titular church in September 2006, Cardinal O’Malley became the first cardinal in the world to launch a personal blog,, which he continues to update weekly.

In the late 2000’s, with the immediate effects of the clergy abuse crisis in Boston largely passed, Cardinal O’Malley turned his attention to the long-term spiritual and fiscal health of the archdiocese. He implemented plans to conserve parish resources, launched the Campaign for Catholic Schools aimed at strengthening and expanding existing schools, and stabilized the archdiocese’s lay-employee and clergy pension systems as well as the clergy health and retirement funds.

He has also put a great emphasis on vocations and outreach of the Church to youth, including expanding the use of the internet and social media and encouraging participation in pilgrimages to the International World Youth Days and the annual March for Life in Washington, D.C.

Shortly after Pope Francis’ 2013 election, the Holy Father selected Cardinal O’Malley to be the only North American member of his Council of Cardinal Advisors—commonly called the “Group of 9” or simply the “G9”—who advise him on the restructuring of the Roman Curia. Pope Francis also asked him to lead the Vatican’s Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors, which held its first meeting in May 2014.

Cardinal O’Malley is an active member of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB). He is a member of the USCCB Administrative Board, committees on migration and pro-life activities and the subcommittees on the Church in Africa and the Church in Latin America.

Throughout his years as bishop, the cardinal has served on numerous other commissions and committees, including missions (of which he was chairman), priestly formation, Hispanic affairs, migration, as well as serving on the board of directors for Catholic Relief Services, the Association for the Development of the Catholic University of Portugal and on the board of trustees of his alma mater, The Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C.

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