Archbishop Scicluna appointed to top role

Pope Francis has appointed Malta’s Archbishop Charles Jude Scicluna as adjunct secretary of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.

The Congregation is the Vatican office that processes sex abuse cases globally and examines appeals (in matters of grave offence).

The announcement came as the Vatican prepares for a summit meeting of the presidents of 130 bishops conferences from all continents in February.

Francis has called the conference to discuss two matters: protecting minors in the church; and the issue of accountability.

Scicluna, who is currently the President of the College for the Ordinary Session of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, is considered the Church’s expert on investigating sex abuse allegations.

By appointing Scicluna to this position, Francis is assigning him the lead role in the Vatican in dealing with all matters relating to the abuse crisis, underlining his determination to deal decisively with the scandal.

Earlier this year Francis sent Scicluna to Chile to gather information about the unfolding sex abuse scandal.

He has also investigated sex abuse allegations involving high-profile clergy such as Father Marcial Maciel Degollado, founder of the Legionaries of Christ.

In 2005 Pope Benedict XVI ordered Degollado to “a life reserved for prayer and penance, renouncing any public ministry.”

Scicluna has a reputation as a man with a “zero tolerance” policy against priests and religious who abuse minors and children.

He was appointed as auxiliary bishop in Malta in 2012 before Francis made him archbishop in 2015.

Scicluna will continue as the Archbishop of Malta, but is expected to travel to Rome on a regular basis.

Scicluna’s Auxiliary Bishop Joseph Galea-Curmi will assume the ordinary leadership of the Archdiocese of Malta when Scicluna is absent.


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