Cardinal Robert Walter McElroy, Bishop of San Diego (U.S.A), was born in San Francisco, California, in the archdiocese of the same name, on 5 February 1954. After attending Saint Joseph Minor Seminary, he obtained a bachelor’s degree in history from Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts (1975) and a masters in history from Stanford University in Palo Alto, California (1976). He completed his ecclesiastical studies at Saint Patrick Seminary in Menlo Park, California. He then obtained a licentiate in theology at the Jesuit School of Theology in Berkeley, California (1985). He was later awarded a doctorate in moral theology from the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome (1986) and a doctorate in Political Science from Stanford University (1989).
He was ordained a priest on 12 April 1980, for the archdiocese of San Francisco.
After his ordination, he held the following positions: parish vicar of Saint Cecilia parish in San Francisco (1980-1982); personal secretary to Archbishop John R. Quinn and master of ceremonies (1982-1985); parish vicar of Saint Pius parish in Redwood City (1989-1995); vicar general (1995-1997); parish priest of Saint Gregory parish in San Mateo and archdiocesan consultor (1997-2010).
In 1996 he was appointed Prelate of Honour of His Holiness.
Appointed titular bishop of Gemellae in Byzacena and auxiliary of San Francisco on 6 July 2010, he received episcopal consecration on the following 7 September.
On 3 March 2015, Holy Father Francis appointed him bishop of San Diego, United States of America.
Created and proclaimed Cardinal by Pope Francis in the consistory of 27 August 2022, of the Title of S. Frumenzio ai Prati Fiscali.
- Dicasteries for Laity, Family and Life; for Promoting Integral Human Development.