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Pope names members of new body that will judge abuse cases

January 21, 2015

Pope Francis has named the members of a new body of cardinals and bishops who, under the auspices of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF), will judge cases involving the sexual abuse of minors and serious abuses associated with the Sacrament of Reconciliation.

The Pope created the seven-member body in November but did not name members at that time.

Bishop Charles Scicluna, the Vatican’s former top abuse prosecutor, has been named president of the body. He continues in his duties as an auxiliary bishop in his native Malta.

Other members are:

  • Cardinal Zenon Grocholewski, the prefect of the Congregation for Catholic Education;
  • Cardinal Attilio Nicora, the retired president of the Vatican's Financial Information Authority;
  • Cardinal Francesco Coccopalmerio, the president of the Pontifical Council for Legislative Texts;
  • Cardinal Giuseppe Versaldi, the president of the Prefecture of the Economic Affairs of the Holy See;
  • Archbishop José Luis Mollaghan, the retired Bishop of Rosario, Argentina; and
  • Bishop Juan Ignacio Arrieta Ochoa de Chinchetru, the secretary of the Pontifical Council for Legislative Texts.
  • The new panel, which will hear cases involving clerics accused of the most serious ecclesiastical crimes, is composed largely of prelates with a background in canon law. (The Pontifical Council for Legislative Texts is the Vatican's top body for interpretation of canon law.) All of the members-- except Archbishop Mollaghan, who is retired-- will serve on the body concurrent with their other responsibilities.

    The Pope also named Cardinal Julián Herranz, the retired president of the Pontifical Council for Legislative Texts, as a supplemental member of the committee, along with Bishop Giorgio Corbellini, president of the Labour Office of the Apostolic See and of the Disciplinary Commission of the Roman Curia.


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