October 31, 2005

10:59 am: Vatican's doctrinal chief says pope might have picked him for his experience with sex abuse cases

New Mexican

October 31, 2005

VATICAN CITY (AP) - The Vatican's senior American and top doctrinal watchdog said Monday that Pope Benedict XVI might have picked him for the job in part because of his experience with sex abuse cases.

Pope Benedict XVI named American Archbishop William Levada to take over the pope's old job as prefect of the Vatican's Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith on May 13.

In his most extensive interview yet, Levada told Vatican Radio that the fact that the Congregation now oversees issues of sexual abuse by clergy, "that given ... the explosion of that on the American scene over the past few years, my experience with that ... may have said to him it wouldn't be bad to have someone also who has this experience."

Levada served on the commission of U.S. bishops and Vatican officials who oversaw revisions to the discipline plan the American bishops had adopted for sexually abusive priests in 2002, with changes meant to protect clergy's legal rights.

He also is to give a deposition concerning the bankruptcy of his former Portland, Oregon, archdiocese that was prompted by clergy sex abuse lawsuits.

Posted by kshaw at October 31, 2005 08:55 PM