May 14, 2005

Pope names ex-Portlander as watchdog

The Oregonian

Saturday, May 14, 2005
Pope Benedict XVI made the first major announcements of his new papacy Friday, starting an accelerated process to bestow sainthood for the late Pope John Paul II and naming William J. Levada, the former Archbishop of Portland, to the top theological watchdog post of the Roman Catholic Church.

Levada, 68, now archbishop of San Francisco, will become a cardinal and the most powerful American at the Vatican when he heads the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, which enforces church doctrine on topics ranging from abortion, marriage and priest sex abuse to theological dissent by clergy.

To clergy at Rome's largest basilica, the St. John Lateran Church, Benedict said, "And now I have a very joyous piece of news for you." He read a letter asking the Vatican Congregation for the Causes of Saints to skip the five-year waiting period after a person dies and the process for beatification begins. The priests stood and clapped at the news. ...

In 1988, a Portland man filed a suit claiming he had been molested by the Rev. John Goodrich, a former pastor of St. John Fisher Church in Southwest Portland. The church settled the suit in 1990 for nearly $500,000. In 1991, Levada suspended the Rev. Maurice Grammond for refusing to cooperate after being accused of sexual abuse. More than 50 men subsequently accused Grammond of sexual abuse.

Posted by kshaw at May 14, 2005 08:32 AM