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Priest who led fight against clerical abuse named Archbishop of Malta

Then Mgr Charles Scicluna, left, with Vatican spokesman Fr Federico Lombardi (Photo: CNS)

Archbishop Charles Scicluna, the Vatican’s former chief prosecutor of clergy accused of abuse, has been named as Archbishop of Malta.

At a press conference the archbishop said he intended to “listen to the people and remain on close terms with the priests and chaplains”, explaining that “if I don’t listen, then I won’t have the authority to speak”.

Archbishop Scicluna, who is 55, announced that he would continue to live with his parents, while using official residences as open houses where he would conduct meetings with clergy.

The archbishop served for 10 years as Promoter of Justice at the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF), handling accusations of clerical sex abuse. During that time he collected testimony against Fr Marcial Maciel, founder of the Legionaries of Christ. He is also credited with devising new guidelines, issued in 2010, to deal with sexual misconduct among clergy.

In January he was appointed president of a new board of review within the CDF to deal with appeals from clergy accused of abuse.

Archbishop Scicluna was appointed an auxiliary bishop in Malta in 2012 and last year took over as apostolic administrator after the resignation of his predecessor, Archbishop Paul Cremona.

Malta’s president Marie-Louise Coleiro Preca has congratulated the archbishop on his appointment and said she is looking forward to working with him.