May 13, 2005

Pope names San Francisco archbishop to Vatican's top doctrinal post

Catholic News Service

By John Thavis
Catholic News Service

VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Pope Benedict XVI named Archbishop William J. Levada of San Francisco as prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, the Vatican agency charged with protecting and promoting the church's teachings on faith and morals.

The appointment, announced May 13, marked the first time a U.S. prelate has headed the congregation. It is the oldest of the Vatican's nine congregations and is considered primary in responsibility and influence. ...

Archbishop Levada, who has headed the Archdiocese of San Francisco since 1995, was a key figure in the approval of new norms to handle cases of priestly sexual abuse.

In 2002, he was a member of the U.S.-Vatican commission that made final revisions to the norms, which laid out a strict policy on priestly sex abuse and provided for removal from ministry or laicization of priests who have sexually abused minors.

Earlier this year, he and four other U.S. church leaders returned to the Vatican for talks on extending the norms.

Posted by kshaw at May 13, 2005 10:19 AM