Reaction from Catholic leaders around the region.
Baltimore Archbishop William E. Lori, metropolitan archbishop of the Province of Baltimore that includes the Diocese of Wilmington, said he was “most grateful” to Pope Francis for appointing Bishop-elect William Koenig as the next Bishop of Wilmington.
“I warmly welcome Bishop-elect Koenig to the Metropolitan Province of Baltimore and look forward to working closely with him in the years ahead,” Archbishop Lori said. “Bishop-elect Koenig brings to his new ministry a priestly heart and wealth of experience. I am confident he will be a wonderful shepherd to guide the Church of Wilmington into a future full of hope.”
At the same time, Archbishop Lori expressed his “heartfelt gratitude” to Bishop Malooly, “who has led the Diocese of Wilmington through challenging times with great love, dedication and skill.”
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“The Maryland Catholic Conference welcomes the appointment of Bishop-elect Koenig, who brings deep pastoral experience to Wilmington. We look forward to working with him as a member of our Board of Governors in our advocacy in the areas of economic and social justice, Catholic education and respect for life,” said Jenny Kraska, executive director of the Conference.
Bishop-elect Koenig has worked in parish ministry, vocations, and pastoral work with seminarians and clergy in the Diocese of Rockville Centre throughout his priesthood.
Kraska said, “I want to thank Bishop Malooly for his leadership, kindness and support of the Maryland Catholic Conference. For the past 21 years he has shared his wisdom, insight and experience as a member of our Board of Governors. He will be greatly missed.”
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Archbishop Nelson Perez of Philadelphia released the following statement about Diocese of Wilmington Bishop-elect William E. Koenig, his former colleague in the Diocese of Rockville Centre.
“I was filled with great joy to learn that Pope Francis appointed Reverend Monsignor William E. Koenig as the 10th Bishop of the Diocese of Wilmington.
I had the privilege of serving with him during my time as an Auxiliary Bishop in the Diocese of Rockville Centre when he was the Rector of Saint Agnes Cathedral. Bishop-elect Koenig has great energy, zeal, and administrative ability. God’s people in Delaware and on Maryland’s Eastern Shore are receiving a true gift from the Holy Father in the person of their new shepherd.
In the name of the priests, deacons, consecrated religious, and lay faithful of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia, I offer heartfelt congratulations and prayers to Bishop-elect Koenig as he prepares to assume his new role in service to the Church. May the Holy Spirit guide him as a successor to the Apostles.
At this time, I also extend prayerful gratitude to Bishop Francis Malooly for his selfless service to the Diocese of Wilmington and her people for the past 13 years. May his retirement be a peaceful and healthy one.”