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By Brahma Chellaney
Beijing's creeping aggression signals a challenge to U.S. presence in the Asian Pacific
Independent voices from the The Washington Times Communities
Topic - charles scicluna
When Pope Benedict XVI announced last month he was transferring his respected sex crimes prosecutor to Malta to become a bishop, Vatican watchers immediately questioned whether the Holy See's tough line on clerical abuse was going soft — and if another outspoken cleric was being punished for doing his job too well.
Bishops must follow the Catholic church's laws and standards when dealing with priests who sexually abuse children or face possible church sanctions for negligence, the Vatican's sex crimes prosecutor said Wednesday.
The Vatican issued a revised set of in-house rules Thursday to respond to clerical sex abuse, targeting priests who molest the mentally disabled as well as children and priests who use child pornography, but making few substantive changes to existing practice.
Bishop Charles Scicluna, the Vatican's former sex-crimes prosecutor, said it was up to Cardinal Mahony's conscience to decide whether or not to participate.
"These civil cases send a very important message," Scicluna said. "This is part of the brief of every bishop. This is part of the oath that we take, that we be stewards and we protect the flock."