Vatican makes clear bishops must report sex abuse

2:40 PM, Apr 12, 2010   |    comments
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VATICAN CITY -- The Vatican has for the first time made it clear that bishops and other high-ranking clergy should report clerical sex abuse to police.

The Vatican has insisted that this has long been the Catholic Church's policy. But in a new guide for lay readers posted Monday on its Web site, it made public for the first time an explicit policy of reporting abuse to law-enforcement.

The guidelines read: "Civil law concerning reporting of crimes to the appropriate authorities should always be followed."

That phrase was not included in a draft of the guidelines obtained Friday by The Associated Press. The rest of the guidelines follow previously known and public procedures for handling canonical investigations and trials of suspected abuse.

(Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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