VATICAN CITY, Jan. 30 (AP) – Pope Francis on Monday named Peruvian-born American missionary Bishop Robert Francis Prevost to take over the Vatican’s powerful bishop’s office, succeeding a retiring man recently accused of sexual misconduct. Canadians.
Prevost, a Chicago native whose former Augustinian boss began serving as a priest in Peru in the 1980s, took over the Vatican’s key office that helps vet nominations for bishops around the world, and investigate allegations of abuse or neglect against bishops.
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Cardinal Marc Ouellet, the outgoing head of the episcopal ministry, is one of the few Vatican prefects that Francis has retained for years on the papacy of Pope Benedict XVI, in a clear sign of trust. Ouellet, 78, is three years past the normal retirement age for bishops, and his successor has been the subject of rumors for months.
More recently, Ouellet has been embroiled in allegations of misconduct while he was archbishop of Quebec – allegations he has vehemently denied.
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Ouellet sued his plaintiff in civil court in Canada last year for defamation after the Vatican put his case on hold for insufficient reasons.
Prevost, 67, was head of the Augustinian Society of Rome from 2001 to 2013. He also served as prefect of the Chicago Convent and was named apostolic administrator in 2014 and then bishop of Chiclayo in northern Peru, a long-standing area of the Augustinian Order of Chicago.
Like Ouellet, Prevost will head the Vatican Pontifical Council for Latin America. (Associated Press)
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