BOSTON (CBS) — Pope Francis has appointed Boston’s Archbishop, Cardinal Sean O’Malley, to the Congregation for the Doctrine of Faith–a move church officials say will expand his global involvement in the prevention of clergy sex abuse.
John Allen, the editor of Catholic news website Crux, told WBZ NewsRadio 1030’s Kim Tunnicliffe that O’Malley’s appointment reflects the influential role he’s played in addressing the church sex abuse crisis.
“This appointment is another confirmation that he is essentialy this pope’s, and essentially the entire church’s go-to man in the fight against child sexual abuse,” said Allen. “If you want a signal that you’re serious about something, and you want a signal that you’re serious about reform, you want Cardinal O’Malley to be involved with it.”
Pope Francis created a commission to recommend abuse policy changes in the church, and put O’Malley in charge–but Allen says this appointment gives him more reach.
“It really is the Congregation for the Faith that applies those recommendations in the area of imposing discipline–not merely on priests who abuse, but also on bishops who cover up abuse,” he said.
O’Malley will remain the archbishop of Boston. The Doctrine of Faith congregation is led by Cardinal Gerhard Müller of Germany.
WBZ NewsRadio 1030’s Kim Tunnicliffe reports