April 20, 2005

Cardinal: Pope will preserve sex abuse law

The News Observer


VATICAN CITY (AP) - Chicago Cardinal Francis George said Wednesday that new Pope Benedict XVI indicated he would preserve a new U.S. church law that gives bishops broader power to discipline sexually abusive priests.

The policy, adopted nearly three years ago at the height of the clergy molestation crisis, was under Vatican review when Pope John Paul II died. Advocates for victims worried it would be weakened.

But George said he had spoken about the policy with the former German Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger a few days before the conclave, where Ratzinger was elected pontiff Tuesday.

George said he stressed the need to maintain those new powers, which allow church leaders to bar guilty priests from any church work without going through the lengthy Vatican process of removing the cleric from the priesthood.

Posted by kshaw at April 20, 2005 11:41 AM