Pope Appoints New Promoter of Justice

American Jesuit Father Robert Geisinger to Become Vatican’s New «Chief Prosecutor»

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Pope Francis has appointed Father Robert J. Geisinger SJ to the post of Promoter of Justice for the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF), Vatican Radio reports.

He takes over from Monsignor Robert W. Oliver, who has held the position since Jan. 3, 2013. Monsignor Oliver, who is from the archdiocese of Boston, has been appointed Secretary of the new Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors.

Father Geisinger has served as the General Procurator for the Society of Jesus and is a member of the Chicago Province. 

The Promoter of Justice is often referred to as the CDF’s ‘chief prosecutor’ and is charged with investigating canon-law offenses that are regarded as being the most serious, including crimes against the sanctity of the Eucharist, violations of the seal of confession and allegations of the abuse of minors by clergy.

Prior to Monsignor Oliver, the post was held by Bishop Charles Scicluna who was credited with constructing the 2010 universal norms that extended the Church’s statutes of limitations on reporting cases of sexual abuse and expanded the category of ecclesial crimes to include sexual misconduct with a disabled adult and possession of child pornography. He also led investigations into the disgraced founder of the Legionaries of Christ, Father Marcial Maciel. Since 2012, Bishop Scicluna has been an auxiliary bishop in Malta. 

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