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In Pope Francis’ ongoing reform campaign, the last day of January and the first day of February brought fresh drama on two key fronts: the Church’s sex abuse scandals, and the role of the “new movements” in Catholicism.
On Friday, Jan. 31, Francis held an audience for prelates and officials from the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, the Vatican’s powerful doctrinal watchdog agency, taking part in a plenary meeting.
Among other things, Francis confirmed that a new papal commission to lead the fight against sex abuse announced last December will be located within the doctrinal agency. That’s considered important, because it’s been the doctrinal office that’s had responsibility for handling abuse cases since 2001.
In the internal politics of the Vatican, it’s been seen as upholding a strong reform position.
The challenges the new commission may face were confirmed the same day, in a session with reporters held…
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