BOSTON (CBS/AP) – Pope Benedict XVI has appointed a priest from the archdiocese of Boston, ground zero in the U.S. clerical sex abuse scandal, to a position that involves serving as the Catholic Church’s sex crimes prosecutor.

Rev. Robert W. Oliver, S.T.D., J.C.D. will take over as the Promoter of Justice for the Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith.

The position is similar to that of a prosecutor. Oliver will be responsible for investigating crimes that the Church considers most serious, which includes the sexual abuse of minors by clerics.

Oliver, a canonical expert in the archdiocese, replaces Bishop Charles Scicluna, who was recently named auxiliary bishop in his native Malta.

Scicluna’s departure had sparked some fears among sex abuse victims that the Vatican might roll back on the tough line on clergy abuse he charted in his 10 years at the Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith.

The Vatican office, which Pope Benedict XVI headed for nearly a quarter century, reviews all cases of clerical sex abuse, telling bishops how to proceed against accused priests.

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