Looks like the new Vatican administration is choosing as wisely as one could expect for it’s new “church enforcer.” It is the American archbishop William Levada of the San Francisco archdiocese who will head up the “Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith,” which is what used to be called the Holy Office of the Inquisition. The same post that Ratzinger held before he became pope.
Now, this says a lot, mostly within the context of the pedophile priest crisis in the US. Levada was one of the key figures in the American Catholic Church’s response to the sex abuse; he was widely praised for “deftly handling” the church’s evasion of responsibility or accountability for this tragedy.
And now, this guy has the highest Vatican post ever by an American. It would have been easy for the new Vatican administration to show how it feels about this situation; it is hardly the case that an American would be an obvious choice for such a high post. Indeed, this post is unprecedented for an American.
So in the wake of this pedophilia scandal, this just reinforces how distant the Vatican — and by extension the Catholic church — is from the cold, brutal, psychologically and spiritually damaged reality of priesthood in the US.