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Vatican names members of new body responsible for tackling clergy abuse

Office will handle cases of 'grave crimes' such as sexual abuse of a minor by a priest

Andrea Gagliarducci for CNA/EWTN News

Andrea Gagliarducci for CNA/EWTN News

Updated: April 22, 2015 01:20 AM GMT
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Vatican names members of new body responsible for tackling clergy abuse

St Peter's statue in the square of the Vatican basilica (Credit: Stephen Driscoll/CNA)

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Pope Francis completed the membership of the new Vatican body with responsibility for dealing with clerical sex abuse on Wednesday, marking a further step in providing adequate procedures to insure justice for victims.

The body is a specific office within the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith that will deal with 'delicta graviora', or 'more grave crimes'.

These are the most serious crimes in the Church, and most notably include offenses against morality: the sexual abuse of a minor by a cleric; or the acquisition, possession, or distribution of child pornography by a cleric.

The new office is established as a college of seven people, whose names were announced on January 21.

Bishop Charles Scicluna has been appointed president of the college. Now the Auxiliary Bishop of Malta, Bishop Scicluna served from 2002 to 2012 as Promoter of Justice in the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith — that is, as the Vatican's public prosecutor — personally handling the sex abuses crises of 2002 and 2010 and carrying forward the ‘zero tolerance’ line wanted by St John Paul II and Benedict XVI to tackle the issue.

The other members of the college are: Cardinal Zenon Grocholewski, prefect of the Congregation for Catholic Education; Cardinal Attilio Nicora, president emeritus of the Administration of the Patrimony of the Apostolic See; Cardinal Francesco Coccopalmerio, president of the Pontifical Council for Legislative Texts; Bishop Juan Arrieta Ochoa de Chinchetru, secretary of the Pontifical Council for Legislative Texts; Cardinal Giuseppe Versaldi, president of the Prefecture for the Economic Affairs of the Holy See; and Archbishop José Mollaghan, Emeritus of Rosario.

The college has also two supplementary members: Cardinal Julian Herranz Casado, president emeritus of the Pontifical Council for Legislative Texts; and Bishop Giorgio Corbellini, president of the Labour Office of the Apostolic See and of the Disciplinary Commission of the Roman Curia.

The new office is charged with lightening the work of the ordinary session of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, handling the appeals on 'delicta graviora'.

Aside from sexual abuse of minors, the 'delicta graviora' which the college will examine include those against the sacraments — including those against Eucharist, such as profaning a consecrated Host; against Confession, such as violating the seal; and against Holy Orders, such as the attempted ordination of a woman.

Full story: Pope Francis completes new Vatican office to tackle clergy abuse

Source: Catholic News Agency

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