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Bishop defends Vatican’s handling of Tucson abuse cases

Catholic World News - April 01, 2010

Bishop Gerald Kicanas of Tucson, the vice president of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, has defended the Vatican’s handling of the cases of Fathers Michael Teta and Robert Trupia, two suspended priests whom former Bishop Manuel Moreno was seeking to laicize. Both were laicized in 2004 after long delays; the former had been suspended in 1990, the latter in 1992.

The frustration expressed in one letter by Bishop Moreno “clearly refers to the challenges of getting the case resolved locally and did not refer to a frustration with the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith,” Bishop Kicanas says.

“Pope John Paul II's decision to transfer the competency for dealing with allegations of sexual abuse of minors by clergy to the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith and his granting of an administrative removal of a priest from the clerical state have been immensely helpful to our Diocese in resolving these difficult situations,” Bishop Kicanas added. “In my mind after a review of the documentation it would be inaccurate to suggest that Cardinal Ratzinger's office delayed resolution of the Teta case. In fact, the office sought to expedite the case.”

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