Wire Service: RNS
On May 14, 2005 Religion News Service reported, "Pope Benedict XVI on Friday (May 13) named the archbishop of San Francisco, William Levada, to the pope's old job as guardian of the Catholic faith, making Levada the highest-ranking American ever to serve at the Vatican. Levada, 68, was named prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, a powerful post that Benedict himself held for nearly a quarter-century until his election as pope on April 19. In his new post, Levada will be responsible for policing all aspects of church teaching, making him in effect the church's theology czar. His portfolio covers some of the church's most sensitive issues, including homosexuality, abortion and sexually abusive priests. Church observers say the choice of Levada -- doctrinally conservative, a veteran of the church bureaucracy and well-versed in the 21st-century social trends confronting the church -- is a clear sign that Benedict intends to steer a traditional course while also engaging the larger world."