Richard J. Sklba

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His Excellency, The Most Reverend
Richard John Skilba
Auxiliary Bishop Emeritus of Milwaukee
Titular Bishop of Castro di Puglia
Archdiocese Milwaukee
Appointed November 6, 1979
Installed December 19, 1979
Term ended October 18, 2010
Other posts Titular Bishop of Castro di Puglia
Ordination December 20, 1959
Consecration December 19, 1979
by Rembert Weakland, William Edward Cousins, and Robert Fortune Sanchez
Personal details
Born (1935-09-11) September 11, 1935 (age 81)
Racine, Wisconsin
Denomination Catholic Church
Alma mater St. Francis Seminary, Pontifical Biblical Institute, Pontifical University of Saint Thomas Aquinas
Styles of
Richard John Sklba
Mitre (plain).svg
Reference style
Spoken style Your Excellency
Religious style Bishop

Richard John Sklba (born September 11, 1935) is an American prelate of the Roman Catholic Church who served as an auxiliary bishop of the Archdiocese of Milwaukee from 1979–2010.


Richard Sklba was born in Racine, Wisconsin.[1] He attended St. Catherine's High School for two years before entering St. Francis Seminary.[2] From 1954 to 1960, he studied in Rome, where he earned a degree in Scripture. In 1965 he earned a Doctorate in Sacred Theology from the Pontifical University of Saint Thomas Aquinas, Angelicum with a dissertation entitled "The teaching function of the Pre-exilic Israelite priesthood."

He was ordained to the priesthood on December 20, 1959,[1] and then served as assistant pastor at St. Mary's Church,[3] in Elm Grove for two years.[2]

He furthered his studies at the Pontifical Biblical Institute and the Angelicum from 1962 to 1965 and, after returning to the United States, did weekend pastoral work at St. Veronica Church,[4] in Milwaukee, and taught Scripture at St. Francis Seminary.[2]

On November 6, 1979, Sklba was appointed Auxiliary Bishop of Milwaukee and Titular Bishop of Castro di Puglia by Pope John Paul II.[1] He received his episcopal consecration on the following December 19 from Archbishop Rembert Weakland, OSB, with Archbishops William Cousins and Robert Sanchez serving as co-consecrators.[1] He has been a member of the Catholic Biblical Association of America since 1968 and named its President in 1982.[2]

In 1998 Sklba caused controversy when he wrote and read the eulogy [5] at Father Lawrence Murphy's funeral. His eulogy alluded to the good work done by Father Murphy and stated "some shadows had been cast on his ministry" when in fact Father Murphy had admitted to molesting 30 deaf students and was suspected in 200 cases.[6][7]

From 2005 to 2008, Sklba served as chairman of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops' Committee on Ecumenical and Interreligious Affairs. In this capacity, following Pope Benedict XVI's reformulation of the Good Friday Prayer for the Jews in the Tridentine Mass, he stated, "Central to the concerns of the Holy Father is the clear articulation that salvation comes through faith in Jesus Christ and his church. It is a faith that must never be imposed but always freely chosen. The Catholic Church in the United States remains steadfastly committed to deepening its bonds of friendship and mutual understanding with the Jewish community."[8]

On October 18, 2010, Bishop Sklba retired.[1]

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Episcopal succession[edit]

Catholic Church titles
Preceded by
Auxiliary Bishop of Milwaukee
Succeeded by