Pope Francis on Tuesday named progressive Catholic cardinal Matteo Zuppi head of the bishops’ conference in Italy, where the Church is under pressure to launch an investigation into clerical child abuse. Zuppi, currently archbishop of Bologna, is known for his commitment to improving the lot of minorities and migrants, and was a mediator during the civil war in Mozambique. A member of the Community of Sant’Egidio, a lay Catholic organisation dedicated to social service, he is also close to Francis — and often listed among the names of potential future popes. Pope Francis chose him from one of three names proposed by the Italian Bishops’ Conference to replace cardinal Gualtiero Bassetti, 80, who reached the end of his five-year term. Zuppi takes over the Italian Catholic Church at a highly sensitive time, as survivors of sexual abuse by priests press for an independent investigation. Inquiries across the United States, Europe and Australia have exposed widespread abuse of children and a decades-long cover-up, and many groups say Italy can no longer avoid scrutiny.