May 13, 2005

Pope Names U.S. Archbishop Doctrine Chief

New York Newsday

May 13, 2005, 7:24 AM EDT

VATICAN CITY -- Pope Benedict XVI named San Francisco Archbishop William Levada as the Vatican's chief orthodoxy watchdog on Friday, tapping an American conservative to fill one of the most powerful church offices, the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.

Before his election as pope, Benedict held the office for more than 23 years, gaining a reputation as a hard-liner in defending church teaching. ...

In tapping an American, Benedict has put someone in charge of his old office who is deeply familiar with the clergy sexual abuse scandal in the American church. After the scandal erupted in 2002, John Paul decided that the issue should be handled by Ratzinger's congregation.

Benedict and Levada are old friends, and Levada met with the pope on May 3, fueling speculation that he was on the short list for the job.

Posted by kshaw at May 13, 2005 07:08 AM