Vatican Radio summarizes the work of the Promoter of Justice as follows:
The Promoter of Justice is often referred to as the CDF’s ‘chief prosecutor’ and is charged with investigating canon-law offenses that are regarded as being the most serious, including crimes against the sanctity of the Eucharist, violations of the seal of confession and allegations of the abuse of minors by clergy.
Father Geisinger, S.J. replaces the Reverend Robert W. Oliver, a priest of the Archdiocese of Boston, whom the Holy Father named today Secretary of the Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors.
In his, as usual, thoughtful analysis, John L. Allen, Jr. notes that Father Geisinger, S.J. "is known for a prodigious work ethic, which will serve him well given the perceived slow pace at which appeals to expel accused abusers from the priesthood sometimes move in Rome."
Last semester I had the privilege of studying under Father Geisinger, S.J. in a course in which we explored the process of dismissing a cleric from the clerical state (popularly known as "defrocking"). Throughout the course, I found Father Geisinger, S.J. to be a true man of prayer, thoughtful and knowledgeable, with a great sense of humor. His teaching style - so different from the usual European style and somewhat of a caricature of the American style - was a breath of fresh air, even for the Italians.
On the first day of class, as he outlined the course we would follow, he said of the process of dismissing a man from the clerical state, that is, of following the law of the Church, "Questa non è rocket science" ("This is not rocket science")! It was a welcome moment of levity and frankness in the midst of a very serious discussion.
Though I certainly do not envy his position, Father Geisinger, S.J. will make an excellent Promoter of Justice. Please remember him, and those who will work with him, in your prayers.
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