A priest’s shirt has changed its name to reflect a shift in church policies, as he becomes more visible in the public eye.
The shirt worn by Father David D’Ambrosio has a new look, and has been given a new color, to reflect the fact that the priest has been the target of sexual abuse accusations, the Vatican said on Friday.
The new name, which has been on the collar of D’Amrosio’s priest’s vestment for more than 20 years, was announced by the Vatican as the first change in the collar and is part of a wider effort to “strengthen” priests and church rules.
“We hope this new name reflects the change in a more positive way,” the Vatican wrote in a statement.
“It’s about our common commitment to the care of the poor and vulnerable,” Archbishop Federico Lombardi, the church’s top official for the protection of minors, said on Twitter.
The name change follows a year in which the priest and his parishioners have been the subject of an outpouring of support and sympathy.
The Vatican announced the new name in October, after a video emerged of D”Ambrosia molesting a boy in his care in the 1980s.
The priest and others who have been accused of sexual misconduct have been shielded from the public spotlight.
He has been stripped of the title of vicar of St. Patrick’s Cathedral, where he was previously a cardinal, and the archdiocese has been investigating whether the allegations were true.
The archdiocesan investigation into the priest’s allegations was launched after a number of women made allegations of abuse against him, including one from a young boy.
The bishop who has led the probe has said he believes the accusations were false.
The cardinal has been under intense pressure since the scandal broke in September, after he refused to step down amid a widening scandal that has tarnished his image as a leader who speaks about the poor.
In a statement on Thursday, the pope said he was “deeply moved” by the stories and called for “a new way of thinking” in the church and for a greater respect for the family.
The pope has said the church must become “a more welcoming, inclusive and loving place for all.”