Frank Joseph Dewane

His Excellency, The Most Reverend
Frank Joseph Dewane
Bishop of Venice
Archdiocese Miami
Diocese Venice
Appointed April 25, 2006
Installed January 19, 2007
Predecessor John Joseph Nevins
Ordination July 16, 1988
Consecration July 25, 2006
by John Joseph Nevins, John Favalora, and Diarmuid Martin
Personal details
Born (1950-03-09) March 9, 1950
Green Bay, Wisconsin
Styles of
Frank Joseph Dewane
Reference style
Spoken style Your Excellency
Religious style Bishop

Frank Joseph Dewane (born March 9, 1950) is an American prelate of the Roman Catholic Church. He is the Bishop of Venice, Florida.


Frank Dewane was born in Green Bay, Wisconsin, as the third of the four children of Ben and Eleanor Dewane, Irish Catholics who owned and operated a dairy farm. He attended Denmark High School, where he played lineman on the football team, and worked at an appliance factory during his summer vacations to pay for college.[1] He studied at the University of Wisconsin from 1968 to 1972, where he obtained a bachelor's degree in Social Sciences, and at the Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C. from 1973 to 1975, earning a master's degree in international administration. He then did a year's study at George Washington University.

Dewane worked for the NBC in Moscow and then for a subsidiary of PepsiCo in New York City before choosing an ecclesiastical career. He studied philosophy at the University of Notre Dame in South Bend, Indiana (1983–1984), and then traveled to Rome, where he attended the Pontifical North American College (1984–1988) and studied theology at the Pontifical Gregorian University (1986) and canon law at the Angelicum. Dewane was ordained to the priesthood on July 16, 1988, and then served as assistant pastor at Ss. Peter and Paul Parish in Green Bay until 1991. He worked for the diocesan tribunal as well.

In 1991, he was named by the Vatican to its Permanent Observer Mission to the United Nations in New York City. Dewane entered the service of the Roman Curia upon becoming an official of the Pontifical Council Cor Unum in 1995. From 2001 to 2006, he served as Undersecretary of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace. During his tenure as Undersecretary, he acted as a Vatican diplomat to numerous international conferences and other events.

On April 25, 2006, Dewane was appointed Coadjutor Bishop of Venice in Florida by Pope Benedict XVI. He was consecrated on July 25 by Bishop John Nevins, with Archbishops John Favalora and Diarmuid Martin serving as co-consecrators, in Epiphany Cathedral. He took as his episcopal motto: "Iustitia Pax Gaudium", meaning, "Justice, Peace, and Joy" (Romans 14:17).

Dewane later succeeded Nevins as the second Bishop of Venice in Florida on January 19, 2007. As Bishop, he is the spiritual leader of the 250,000 Catholics of Southwest Florida.

He is considered to be moderate in his views, being theologically conservative yet economically and socially progressive.[1] However, he aroused a certain controversy shortly after his nomination as Coadjutor Bishop when he stated that Communion should not be withheld to Catholic politicians who oppose some of the Church's teachings.[2]

During the 2008 presidential election, Dewane stated, "[The] right to life and dignity of every person ... are fundamental to the health of any society and should therefore, be carefully considered when voting for a particular candidate. After all, in voting we are making moral choices." He added, "As Catholics, we are called upon to respect and protect the rights of all, especially, the unborn child, the weakest and most vulnerable among us. At the same time, the family, the basic unit of society, must be safeguarded, promoted, and protected based on monogamous marriage between a man and a woman."


  1. 1 2 Herald Tribune. An unlikely path to ordination July 23, 2006
  2. Herald Tribune. New bishop plans to be vocal politically July 21, 2006

External links

Catholic Church titles
Preceded by
Giampaolo Crepaldi
Undersecretary of the Pontifical Council
for Justice and Peace

Succeeded by
Flaminia Giovanelli
Preceded by
John Joseph Nevins
Bishop of Venice in Florida
Succeeded by
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