VATICAN CITY – Pope Francis has moved to speed up rulings on appeals by clergy who have been accused of sex abuse of minors and other grave abuses.
The Vatican announced on Tuesday that the pope is setting up a panel, made up of seven cardinals or bishops, to examine appeals that reach the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. The Congregation is cracking down on priests who sexually abuse children, but critics say the Vatican is moving too slowly to decide the ultimate fate of these priests.
Bishops accused of sexually abusing minors will still have their appeals handled by all congregation members, not by the new panel.
Survivors of sexual molestation or rape want Francis to also punish members of the church hierarchy who covered up abuse.