It is difficult to find someone in the Vatican with a better reputation and service record in the fight against the abuse of minors by the clergy than the archbishop of Malta, Charles Scicluna (Toronto, 1959). The Justice Ministry of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith and responsible for historical investigations such as the one that uncovered the abuses of Father Maciel in Mexico or the one massive concealment of the bishops of ChileHe will return to Rome to rejoin the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith as deputy secretary at a crucial moment for this pontificate.
The Pope has decided to recover Scicluna-he will keep his office in the archbishopric of Malta, according to the Holy See, in full deployment in the fight against child abuse undertaken by the Vatican. At the doors of the historic meeting that will gather in February all the presidents of the episcopal conferences of the world in Rome to address the issue, the Vatican also seeks to reinforce itself with important figures. Especially in the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, the key organ for investigating and punishing complaints that come from all over the world and that, despite having doubled the number of researchers in recent years and all the main languages already represented, He keeps noticing sometimes the lack of personnel.
Scicluna began his career at the Vatican in 1995, first as promoter of the Deputy Justice in the Supreme Court of the Apostolic Signatura and later as a promoter of Justice in the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, directed at that time by Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger and future Benedict. XVI. In that role he was the author of the universal norms that allowed to establish the obligation of all the dioceses of the world to inform the Vatican of the cases of abuses they knew. An extremely useful measure for cases like Boston. In addition, he extended the delicta gravioria, the most serious crimes, including those of abuse of minors, improper sexual behavior with a disabled adult and possession of child pornography.
Scicluna is considered the black beast of abusive priests, a true hunter of pedophiles and cloakers in the clergy. His investigations in Mexico were crucial in determining the guilt of Marcial Maciel, founder of the Legionaries of Christ, addicted to an opiate and the father of a daughter. Scicluna was then progressively promoted to the position of archbishop of Malta, the country where he grew up after arriving as a child with his parents from Canada and almost completely disassociated from his work as a researcher for the Doctrine of the Faith.
However, on January 30, 2018, after the Pope received huge criticism for accusing victims of abuse of Chilean priest Fernando Karadima to fabricate slanders against the prelate Juan Barros (who concealed those acts for years and had been appointed bishop of Osorno in 2015 by the current Pontiff), Francisco decided to go to him to investigate the matter. Scicluna, along with the Spaniard Jordi Bertomeu, also a member of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, carried out a historic investigation that ended with the resignation in full of all the Chilean bishops. The Pope fully trusts him and, at a crucial moment, he wanted to recover it.