May 14, 2005

U.S. archbishop new Vatican enforcer

World Peace Herald

By Julia Duin
Published May 14, 2005

WASHINGTON -- The Vatican announced yesterday that San Francisco Archbishop William J. Levada is the new head of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, the policy-enforcing arm of the papacy that Pope Benedict XVI headed for 24 years. ...

The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests issued a statement criticizing the choice, calling it "an insensitive and unwise decision."

"Regarding [sexual] abuse in the San Francisco archdiocese, Levada has been slow to act, harsh to victims and committed to secrecy," said Dan McNevin, SNAP Bay Area spokesman.

"He has allowed credibly accused priests to remain in ministry even while facing pending civil molestation lawsuits. His lawyer has negotiated deals with local district attorneys that help keep abuse cases quiet."

Archbishop Levada, who headed the Archdiocese of Portland, Ore., for nine years before being assigned to the San Francisco archdiocese in 1995, also has been blamed for doing little to prevent the 2004 bankruptcy of the Portland archdiocese because of priest sex-abuse claims.

Posted by kshaw at May 14, 2005 07:55 AM