Anthony Pilla

Anthony Pilla

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Anthony Pilla

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Anthony Michael Pilla (born November 12, 1932) is a bishop of the Catholic Church in the United States. He served as auxiliary bishop of the Diocese of Cleveland from 1979 to 1980 and Bishop of Cleveland from 1980 to 2006.


Pilla was born in Cleveland and graduated from John Carroll University. He was ordained a priest for the Diocese of Cleveland on May 23, 1959. On June 30, 1979 Pope John Paul II named Pilla Titular Bishop of Scardona and Auxiliary Bishop of Cleveland. He was ordained a bishop by Bishop James Aloysius Hickey of Cleveland on August 1, 1979. The principal co-consecrators were Bishops Clarence George Issenmann, Bishop Emeritus of Cleveland and Joseph Abel Francis, S.V.D., Auxiliary Bishop of Newark. He was named Apostolic Administrator of the diocese on July 29, 1980 after Bishop Hickey was named Archbishop of Washington, and as Hickey's successor on November 13, 1980.

Bishop Pilla was installed as the ninth bishop of Cleveland on January 6, 1981. He was elected president of the National Conference of Catholic Bishops in November, 1995 and served until 1998. Toward the end of his time as bishop he had to deal with the clergy sexual abuse crisis, and with the diocesan legal and finance officer who was accused of stealing over $700,000 from the diocese. Pilla testified during the trial in Federal Court in 2008 after he left...
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