May 14, 2005

Papal appointee draws criticism

The Dallas Morning News

12:05 AM CDT on Saturday, May 14, 2005

By BROOKS EGERTON and REESE DUNKLIN / The Dallas Morning News

Pope Benedict XVI took the unprecedented step Friday of naming a U.S. church leader to head what has become the Vatican's most powerful office.

San Francisco Archbishop William Levada will lead the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, which enforces Catholic teachings and discipline around the globe. It rules on all sorts of hot-button issues where the pope and the archbishop appear to agree completely abortion, euthanasia, gay rights and priestly celibacy, among others.

William Levada will lead the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. The congregation also decides the fate of priests accused of child molestation. Archbishop Levada has come under intense criticism in recent years for his handling of such cases in San Francisco.

Last fall, for example, the founding chairman of the archdiocesan panel that reviews abuse cases quit and denounced Archbishop Levada. Dr. James Jenkins, a psychologist, accused him of "deception, manipulation and control" of the panel.

Maurice Healy, the archbishop's spokesman, said Friday that "Dr. Jenkins is flat-out wrong" and is "thrilled to throw calumny on others."

Posted by kshaw at May 14, 2005 08:19 AM