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Thu May 26 02:42:34 SAST 2016

Catholic Church tells Bishops they don't have to report child abuse to police

Times LIVE, AFP | 11 February, 2016 12:50
Pope Francis leads the Ash Wednesday mass, in St. Peter's Basilica at the Vatican.
Image by: ALESSANDRO BIANCHI / REUTERS

The Vatican is telling its newly appointed bishops that they do “not necessarily” have a duty to report their child abusing priests to the police according to a report.

“According to the state of civil laws of each country where reporting is obligatory, it is not necessarily the duty of the bishop to report suspects to authorities, the police or state prosecutors in the moment when they are made aware of crimes or sinful deeds,” a Vatican training document for new bishops reads, according to The Guardian.

Pope Francis has previously said, “everything possible must be done to rid the church of the scourge of the sexual abuse”.

The guidelines were written by Tony Anatrella. a controversial French monsignor and psychotherapist views who serves as a consultant to the Pontifical Council for the Family.

SNAP, an advocacy group for abuse victims, said it shows how the church hasn't changed regarding covering up clerical child abuse.

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