Pope names Vatican’s top abuse investigator to be bishop in Malta
Msgr. Charles Scicluna, who was born in Toronto to Maltese parents, served for the past decade as the Vatican’s first promoter of justice in the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, handling cases brought against clergy accused of the sexual abuse of minors.
The Vatican announced the new appointment Oct. 6 without naming the monsignor’s replacement as promoter, a post that would be filled by papal appointment.
“I look forward to returning to Malta, to assist and to learn from Archbishop (Paul) Cremona and to listen to and serve the Maltese people,” Bishop-designate Scicluna told the TimesofMalta.com the day of his appointment.
He said he expected to be able to bring his experience of the universal church to the small Mediterranean archipelago south of Italy.
“My real wish is to be a good listener,” he said. “I will gain the right to speak” as auxiliary bishop, “but before I speak, I need to listen,” he said, adding that “change will come through dialogue.”
Bishop-designate Scicluna, 53, will be ordained a bishop Nov. 24 in Malta.
A Times of Malta editorial Oct. 7 commended the appointment, praising the new bishop as “an achiever, a doer and a highly accomplished speaker,” who is also very media-friendly.
Bishop-designate Scicluna became promoter of justice at the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith in 2002 to handle accusations of clerical sex abuse, after the doctrinal congregation was given the authority in 2001 to take over such cases from local bishops for investigation.
He has taken a tough stance against abusive priests, saying the church must respond to allegations clearly, and not react with “inertia, a culture of silence or repression. [More]