Europe

Pope makes appointments amid criticism of sex abuse response

Pope Francis has named a new official to oversee the Vatican office that processes clerical sex- abuse cases amid mounting criticism over the years-long backlog of cases and Francis' handling of the problem.

The nomination of Monsignor John Kennedy as head of the discipline section of the Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith is the second abuse-related appointment Francis has made in recent days. On Saturday, he named the Rev. Hans Zollner, one of the Catholic Church's top experts on abuse and protecting children, as an adviser to the Vatican's congregation for clergy.

Francis and the Vatican have come under fresh scrutiny after Irish abuse survivor Marie Collins resigned from the pope's sex-abuse advisory commission, citing the "unacceptable" resistance to the commission's proposals from Vatican officials.