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Pope names American for key Vatican role to handle clerical sexual abuse

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Antoine Mekary | ALETEIA

I.Media for Aleteia - published on 05/07/22

Pope Francis has appointed an American priest from Wisconsin as the new head of the Disciplinary Section of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.

Pope Francis has appointed Father Tait Cameron Schroeder as head of office in the Disciplinary Section of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF), the Holy See Press Office announced on May 7, 2022. The American theologian has worked in the service of the congregation since 2018. The CDF was restructured by the pope last February.

Originally from Madison in the United States, Father Schroeder was ordained in 2002, after years of study at the Pontifical Universities of the Angelicum and St. Anselm in Rome, where he specializes in sacramental theology. He then completed a doctorate in canon law at the Pontifical University of the Holy Cross.

Since last April, the disciplinary section of the CDF has been headed by the Irishman John Joseph Kennedy.

This department deals with offenses reserved to the CDF, mostly canonical crimes committed by priests, which it then leads through the jurisdiction of the Supreme Apostolic Tribunal. This is how the CDF proceeds to the declaration or imposition of canonical penalties.

The section also promotes appropriate training for bishops and jurists in order to foster an understanding and proper application of canonical norms in the Church.

According to information from I.MEDIA, the disciplinary section employs about 20 people and handles more than 1,000 new cases of clerical abuse each year. In 2020, about 60 percent of the cases involved sexual abuse of minors, according to an internal source, who said that these cases came mainly from the regions of North America, Latin America and Europe.

The Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith has been headed for the past five years by Spanish Cardinal Luis Francisco Ladaria Ferrer and, like all of the congregations and councils, will be called dicastery, in this case “Dicastery for the Doctrine of the Faith,” as of June 5.

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