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VATICAN CITY (AP) -- When Pope Benedict XVI announced last month he was transferring his respected sex crimes prosecutor to Malta to become a bishop, Vatican watchers immediately questioned whether the Holy See's tough line on clerical abuse was going soft - and if another outspoken cleric was being punished for doing his job too well.
Scicluna was named the Vatican's promoter of justice in 2002, a year after then-Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger pushed through church legislation requiring bishops to send all credible abuse allegations to his office for review and instructions on how to proceed.
Ratzinger, now pope, took over after realizing that bishops were simply moving abusive priests from parish to parish rather than prosecuting them under church law, and would continue to do so unless Rome intervened.
In his decade on the job, Scicluna became something of the face of the Holy See's efforts to show it was serious about ending decades of sex crimes and cover-up by the church hierarchy. Short, round and affable, with tiny hands and a garrulous laugh, Scicluna, 53, didn't speak out frequently, since much of his work was done behind closed doors, covered by pontifical secret.
But when he did, it carried weight.
"Scicluna embodied the zero-tolerance line on sex abuse," veteran Vatican reporter Andrea Tornielli wrote recently.
His actions, too, often spoke louder than words.
"Scicluna did a remarkable job," said Juan Vaca, a former priest who was the first abuse victim Scicluna interviewed in the long-delayed investigation of the Rev. Marcial Maciel, the once-exalted founder of the now-disgraced Legion of Christ religious order. In the years that followed Maciel's church condemnation, "he continued to prosecute other similar cases with the same integrity," Vaca told AP.
Scicluna insisted he not only will continue to work with the Holy See on abuse issues, but will do so now wielding the authority of a bishop, a job he considers his vocation after marking his first quarter-century as a priest last year.
"So I can tell bishops to listen to me now as a fellow bishop. That gives me in the Roman Catholic Church a qualitative leap into what I say." he said.
In fact, in recent years, civil law has begun going where the Vatican has so far refused, prosecuting bishops and high-ranking church officials for covering up the crimes of the priests in their care and failing to report suspected abuse to police.
Yet at last week's national meeting of U.S. bishops in Baltimore, church leaders made no public comment on Finn's failure to follow the bishops' own policy on reporting suspected child abuse to civil authorities. He remains a bishop and participated fully in the meeting. Also attending was Cardinal Justin Rigali, who retired as archbishop of Philadelphia in disgrace after failing to fix an archdiocese that was faulted by the same grand jury indictment that accused Lynn of endangering children.
Scicluna acknowledged that the pope has yet to discipline any bishop for negligence in handling an abuse case. While Cardinal Bernard Law resigned in 2002 after the abuse scandal erupted in his Boston archdiocese, he wasn't sanctioned and was in fact named archpriest of one of the Vatican's pre-eminent Rome basilicas - a cushy promotion to his critics.
Church law provides for bishops to be punished for negligence, and in the past year Benedict has forcibly removed a handful of bishops for mismanagement and doctrinal dissent in a hint that he may be more willing than ever to get rid of problem bishops. The issue is theologically problematic, though, because bishops are considered by divine right to be the stewards of their dioceses.
"The rules are there but they need to be applied" when it comes to disciplining bishops who botch abuse cases, Scicluna said. "People make mistakes. They need to repent and change their ways. But if they are not able to repent and change their ways, they should not be bishops."
The forfeiture committee – whose members include the cabinet secretary, the top civil servant at the Home Office, the top lawyer at the Treasury and the top official in the Scottish government – made the decision to recommend the removal Goodwin's knighthood. The Queen has the sole authority to rescind a knighthood, after taking advice from the committee.
LONDON (AP) — The Vatican says it cannot rescind the papal knighthood awarded to television star Jimmy Savile, who emerged as an alleged child sex predator after his death.
But the Vatican spokesman, the Rev. Federico Lombardi, told The Associated Press on Saturday that the names of people who receive the knighthood don't appear in its yearbook and that the honor dies with the individual.
Originally posted by Afterthought
Anyways, this is the first I've heard of this and I find the Vatican's decision suspiciously coinciding with the UK paedophile scandal that broke last month. It really makes me wonder if the sex crimes investigator's transfer and "promotion" are related to the goings on with the UK paedo rings being investigated
After decades of debate, the Church of England formally voted down draft legislation that would have allowed women to become bishops.
Queen Elizabeth is the Supreme Governor of the Church of England. The two archbishops of the church, the Archbishop of Canterbury and the Archbishop of York, along with 24 other bishops, have seats in Parliament in the House of Lords. The Church of England is part of the global Anglican Communion. The Church of England says 1.7 million people take part each month in services and four in 10 people in Brittain say they belong to the church.