WASHINGTON  -- Auxiliary Bishop Robert Deeley of Boston has been appointed bishop of Portland, Maine, by Pope Francis.

The appointment was announced Dec. 18 in Washington by Archbishop Carlo Vigano, the Vatican's nuncio to the United States.

Bishop Deeley, 67, succeeds Bishop Richard J. Malone, who became bishop of Buffalo, N.Y., May 29, 2012.

Bishop Deeley was born in 1946 in Cambridge, Mass., the fourth of five sons to Irish-immigrant parents. He was ordained to the priesthood for the Archdiocese of Boston in 1973. He was ordained a Boston auxiliary bishop in January 2012.

He was an official of the Vatican Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith from 2004 to 2010. Following his Vatican service, he became the Boston archdiocesan vicar general, a position he has continued to hold since his episcopal ordination.

Bishop Deeley's parish experience includes parochial vicar of St. Bartholomew Parish in Needham, Mass., 1973-78, and pastor of St. Ann Parish in Quincy, Mass., 1999-2004.

His education includes bachelor's degrees from both The Catholic University of America, Washington, and from Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome. He also received a licentiate and doctorate in canon law from Gregorian University.

Among his other assignments are secretary of the Boston archdiocesan tribunal, 1978-81; associate judicial vicar of the archdiocese, 1985-89; and judicial vicar, 1989-99.

Bishop Deeley also has been president of the Canon Law Society of America, 2000; spiritual director of the Catholic Lawyers Guild, 1991-99; and archdiocesan chaplain for the Knights of Columbus, 1988-91.