May 16th, 2011
05:43 AM ET

Vatican's new sex abuse guidelines don't require reporting

By Richard Allen Greene and Hada Messia

New Vatican guidelines aimed at fighting child abuse by priests tell Catholic bishops they should cooperate with police, but do not order them to report allegations to the authorities.

"Sexual abuse of minors is not just a canonical delict but also a crime prosecuted by civil law," says the letter to bishops around the world, using the Vatican term for a violation of church law.

Abuse crisis fuels debate over John Paul II’s legacy

Local laws on reporting suspected crimes to the authorities "should always be followed," the guidelines say.

The new Vatican advice gives national conferences of bishops until May next year to come up with their own guidelines on how to handle allegations of abuse.

Vatican spokesman Father Federico Lombardi conceded that there was little new in Monday's letter, but said breaking new ground was not the point - standardizing the church's response to abuse allegations was.

Read more coverage of the Roman Catholic Church

"Novelty is not the aim of the document," he said. "The aim of the letter is to have a common denominator of principles."

Many countries' bishops' conferences already have plans in place, but some - such as Italy - do not, Lombardi said.

"For some that have already started dealing with the problem, this letter is an encouragement, and some who have never worked on it will now start dealing with it," Lombardi said.

Bishops in Belgium and the Netherlands - both facing sex abuse scandals - are working on their own sets of guidelines. Other nations, such as Brazil, Germany, and many English-speaking countries already have them, Lombardi said.

Advocates for victims said even before they were released that they would not solve the problem.

"Bishops ignore and conceal child sex crimes because they can," said David Clohessy of the Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests (SNAP). "So any 'reform' that doesn't diminish bishops' power and discretion is virtually meaningless."

And the new Vatican statement will not require bishops to report suspected abusers to the police, he anticipated.

"They aren't binding or mandatory, just suggestions," he said. "Such voluntary 'guidelines' have been widely ignored for years in the past. Top church staff have known of clergy sex crimes and cover ups for decades, if not centuries."

Clohessy spoke to CNN before seeing the Vatican's statement.

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The Catholic Church has been reeling in the face of accusations of child abuse from across the United States and Europe, and stretching back decades.

In the United States, eight Catholic dioceses and one Jesuit order have filed for bankruptcy protection in the face of lawsuits by victims, according to BishopAccountability, which tracks reports of abuse by priests.

The scandal has now spread to Philadelphia, where  four priests and a parochial school teacher pleaded not guilty last month to sexual abuse and conspiracy charges.

A Philadelphia grand jury report released in February led to criminal charges against them by the Philadelphia District Attorney's Office. All five have also been charged with conspiracy.

A total of 23 priests in the Philadelphia area have been placed on administrative leave.

And a series of government-backed reports in deeply Catholic Ireland found a pattern of abuse and systematic cover-ups by church officials stretching back to the 1930s.

The Vatican says only a tiny percentage of priests abuse children, and that it is taking steps to fight the problem, including defrocking priests or forcing them into positions where they do not have contact with the public.

Pope Benedict XVI issued new rules last year aimed at stopping abuse.

They included doubling the statute of limitations on the church's own prosecution of suspected molesters from 10 to 20 years, making it a church crime for a priest to download child pornography, and allowing the pope to defrock a priest without a formal Vatican trial.

Monday's guidelines, known officially as a Circular Letter from the Vatican to Catholic bishops' conferences around the world, are a follow-up to last year's statement from the pope, "motu proprio Sacramentorum sanctitatis tutela."

- Newsdesk editor, The CNN Wire

Filed under: Catholic Church • Pope Benedict XVI • Sex abuse • Vatican

soundoff (424 Responses)
  1. Greatgrandmasue

    The Catholic Church does not value and protect its most innocent and vulnerable members. Remove your children now!

    May 16, 2011 at 10:07 am |
  2. James

    "The Vatican says only a tiny percentage of priests abuse children, and that it is taking steps to fight the problem, including defrocking priests or forcing them into positions where they do not have contact with the public."

    So they feel an appropriate punishment for child molestation is to give them a new, easier job? I can't even tell a femal co-worker she looks hot in a new outfit without fear of getting fired and then having her file a lawsuit against me for creating a hostile work environment. I wonder if the Catholic Church is hiring.

    May 16, 2011 at 10:03 am |
    • InFormed99

      I guess it's better to defrock the priest than have the priests defrock kids (or frock the kids as the case may be)

      May 16, 2011 at 10:39 am |
  3. George G

    So many of you fanatics use your Bible to support your beliefs and try to justify your position. How about some absolute facts about the Bible?

    * In the early days of the Church many writings popped up throughout the Roman Empire purporting to be histories and statements of belief of Christianity.
    * In 325 CE Constantine called for the Council of Nicaea which put out the statement of beliefs of the Christian church – The Nicene Creed.
    * In 393 CE the Synod of Hippo assembled the official "Canon of Sacred Scripture" based on 2 prerequisites: the witing had to conform to the Nicene Creed, and it had to have been quoted frequently by the early Church fathers. If the writing had been quoted infrequently, or it did not conform to the Nicene Creed, it was rejected.
    * The Orthodox Church includes books that the Catholic Church does not, and the King James version excludes writings that are included. Martin Luther rejected any writing that contradicted his positions.
    * The Catholic Church did not allow its members to read a bible until the late 19th century, since they might mis-interpret it.
    * So the books of the Bible, the "Word of God", were written by men, included in the Bible based on the decisions of men, rejected by men, and interpreted, and re-interpeted, by men (and take note, I do mean men, since women were never included in any of these decisions.)
    * Men have decided that some of the things written in "the Word of God" do not apply to people today, e.g. prohibitions against eating pork, despite what "God" said.
    * Thus it is time to call the Bible exactly what it is – the best selling fiction in history!!

    May 16, 2011 at 10:01 am |
    • Jesus

      What you left out was the deliberate omission of the Infancy Gospels and the Book of Giants which were in "the Bible" before 300 AD. In the Infancy Gospels, Jesus, when a boy, kills people on a whim. The Book of Giants has many other offspring of God (He came down and did lots of other mortal women) walking around. Those tales didn't pass muster and were eliminated or edited out of the final Bible.

      May 16, 2011 at 10:33 am |
    • InFormed99

      10/10 well written. It's too bad only a few will read this.

      May 16, 2011 at 10:37 am |
  4. BlackDynamiteNYC

    Just a few questions:

    1. Where do I get my "How to abuse Catholic kids, 2011 Edition" book, written by The Vatican?
    2. When I abuse them, and don't tell the authorities, how many raffle tickets do I get?
    3. The Church is still going to look the other way until the media forces them to condemn my perversion, right?
    4. So it's still business as usual? When is the next softball game?

    May 16, 2011 at 9:58 am |
  5. Aniram

    you would think it was a no brainer. if you suspect child abuse call the police! period!!!

    May 16, 2011 at 9:57 am |
  6. Joe Fattal

    And they making Saints.

    May 16, 2011 at 9:55 am |
  7. The Dimension Machine

    take a look at the sensational book at TheDimensionMachine,com

    May 16, 2011 at 9:54 am |
  8. paxman2

    Please, Reality give me your explanation of this 18 minute old news report from 1987. http://vimeo.com/21856704 I posted before a link to vimeo video 10286499 and someone said there's no sound (which is true) so maybe there was an audible signal so the children would synchronize their looking up. Well, there's a crowd of hundreds of people all around them, don't you think they would have heard the signal.

    Jesus loves you even if you don't believe in Him. In Medjugorje there's been a lot of evidence that Jesus exist and is who He said He was. What is your theory to explain what’s going on for the past 30 years in Medjugore? Starting in June of 1981 6 kids, ages 10 to 15 dropping to their knees at the same time, focusing on the same spot (even though they have side –blinders on), bright flashing lights and hot skin probes not showing up on their EEGs, all raising their heads simultaneously when she leaves. Being arrested by the communist police and threatened with jail and torture and refusing to change their testimony. And now 30 years later, still going to church daily, praying many hours every day, all sticking to their ‘story’ while raising families. Six pathological liars? I guess the proof will be if they die without the signs happening that they say will happen in their lifetimes. Search vimeo for Mirjana or Medjugorje. Look how young Jakov is in this 1984 video, how they all raise their eyes at the same time. They've done this in front of crowds of hundreds of people. Search u-tube videos of Mirjana. Please reply with your explanation. She says in one of her videos that Our Blessed Mother doesn't refer to atheist as non-believers but as ‘those who do not yet know the love of God’, so at least there’s hope in the way she puts it, sounds like you'll eventually come around. But she also says you'll regret waiting until the great sign, don't let your hearts become too hardened. Keep an open mind and look into it. Also, how do you explain similarities and out of body experiences in people who have had NDEs? I almost drowned as a teenager and I know what I experienced wasn't just my brain failing from lack of oxygen. I’ll keep praying for you.

    May 16, 2011 at 9:54 am |
    • chefdugan

      Man, you REALLY need therapy badly. I hope you get it before they commit you.

      May 16, 2011 at 9:56 am |
    • paxman2

      Sorry, I seek the real truth. There are many things in life which are hard to explain. We, both believers and non-believers, should stop trying to accuse the other group of being mindless fools. It is obvious, there have been in the past and still are today both highly intelligent believers and highly intelligent non-believers. Both sides have plenty of evidence for their way of believing. I’m don’t subscribe to the belief that non-believers are going to burn in hell for their non-belief. Look at the apostle Thomas, he didn’t believe until he saw. You’ll probably be given that same chance even if it is after you die.

      The vimeo link above is a non-biased news report. Shows people and priest giving their views both for and against what was happening then in Medjugorje. Why don’t you spend 18 minutes watching and decide for yourself who is more believable and who is not.

      May 16, 2011 at 10:24 am |
    • Cedar Rapids

      'The Pope has begun a crackdown on the world’s largest illicit Catholic shrine – by suspending the priest at the centre of claims that the Virgin Mary has appeared more than 40,000 times.
      Benedict XVI has authorised ‘severe cautionary and disciplinary measures’ against Father Tomislav Vlasic, the former ‘spiritual director’ to six children who said Our Lady was appearing to them at Medjugorje in Bosnia.

      Father Vlasic was a central figure in promoting the apparitions that allegedly began in 1981 and continue to this day.
      In 1984 he boasted to Pope John Paul II that he was the one ‘who through divine providence guides the seers of Medjugorje’ and the visionaries even said that the Virgin had told them he was a living saint.

      But the Bosnian cleric later took a back seat when it emerged that he had fathered a child with a nun called Sister Rufina, and that he refused to leave his order to marry her but instead begged her not to expose him.'

      May 16, 2011 at 11:32 am |
  9. chefdugan

    The Catholic Church's real motto should be "don't say anything unless you are caught". If there ever was a teflon religion this is it. Sin like hell, go to confession , sin like hell, go to confession, etc. They are more than perverts, they are perverts with an international leader, that old fart in the dress and fancy shoes. How can anyone with a brain be associated with this scam. Oh well, they just hooked Newt Gingrich so now he can start all over again with his affairs and multiple wives.

    May 16, 2011 at 9:54 am |
  10. Adelina

    The Church is the only good insti tution that does any good to mankind. Every child should be taught and trained on self-defense from early years because homes, schools and streets are getting more and more dangerous.

    May 16, 2011 at 9:53 am |
    • Todd (another one)

      I'm guessing no one ever told you to put out or you will go to he!!, did they?

      May 16, 2011 at 10:01 am |
    • Todd (no, not that one)

      The church of pedophilia...sounds a bit more honest.

      May 16, 2011 at 10:05 am |
  11. The Dimension Machine

    All in the Book at www TheDimensionMachine dot com

    May 16, 2011 at 9:53 am |
  12. mike

    Why does the Bishop need to notify the police? Why doesn't the child or their family report it to the police. The Bishop can deal with the fall out later, this is a criminal matter and not a church led issue. The church should not be the first one you report it to. Any person, minister, priest, bishop, ect. must pay for their crimes.

    May 16, 2011 at 9:52 am |
    • Thomas

      In many jurisdictions, if you are aware that a crime has been committed, you have a legal obligation to report it. Otherwise you can be tried as an accessory after the fact.

      May 16, 2011 at 9:56 am |
    • chefdugan

      You know the answer to your question. Corruption rules in the Catholic Church and what we ordinary mortals take as an obligation they perceive as a challenge to keep everything within their evil little circle.

      May 16, 2011 at 9:59 am |
    • Pat in IL

      I agree. How in the world has child abuse by priests, bishops, etc. been "swept under the carpet" all those years anyway. Why are the parents and kids not reporting it themselves? And if they are reporting it, what happens then....does the priest intercede to block the complaint in some way? It is absolutely a criminal matter, and the church has no "authority" over the process.

      May 16, 2011 at 10:09 am |
    • Cedar Rapids

      'How in the world has child abuse by priests, bishops, etc. been "swept under the carpet" all those years anyway. Why are the parents and kids not reporting it themselves?'

      Because the kids are the ones that usually keep quiet about it at first due to the authority figure that is the priest. They are more likely to talk about it to another priest than their parents. Dont forget these abused kids are not everyday kids on the street, they are kids that go to that church, that are raised to see the priest as being a voice of jesus and god. You also have families that are religious enough that they think the first step is to talk to the church rather than the police because they would not want to cause trouble for the church.

      May 16, 2011 at 11:10 am |
    • Owl96

      Not all children will report such events to parents or police. If is often discovered by a third party. If it is a teacher, youth minister, or a friend of the youth, they will notify the proper authority. If the one who discovers it chooses to notify a church official, the church official will report it to the proper law enforcement officer.

      May 18, 2011 at 2:21 pm |
  13. Cure for the common religion

    I pray to god that the educated and sensible younger generation would see though these cons that call themselves priests and god men and embrace atheism!

    May 16, 2011 at 9:50 am |
    • Fat Bobby Joe

      You mean the ones who do flash mobs and planking?

      Sorry, but I think you've been sold a bill of goods.

      May 16, 2011 at 10:03 am |
    • Cure for the common religion

      I said the 'educated and sensible'

      May 16, 2011 at 10:05 am |
    • Todd (no, not that one)

      Where did you see those, CCR?

      May 16, 2011 at 10:06 am |
    • Cure for the common religion

      They are all around you but they are content to go about minding their own business and be good citizens. Unfortunately all we get to see are the loud mouths and the lunatics who put this country to shame!

      May 16, 2011 at 10:14 am |
  14. ConcernedPerson

    Just look at the photo above of the pope. All dressed up in expensive robes – how clownish. Does anyone honestly believe that this man represents god's will on earth? How laughable! If you believe this god-hype, then I have a bridge to sell you!

    Follow the money! Churches are a business – that is why some of them can go BANKRUPT! The catholic business is the largest private land owner in the world. Their CEO and board of directors(the cardinals) live in what should be a public museum. They made a deal with the fascist Mussolini in exchange for nation-like rights to the vatican. Folks – this is an evil business focused on power and money. Molestation is ignored because the catholic hierarchy is a good ole boy club of strange celibate men. SICK!

    May 16, 2011 at 9:46 am |
    • Thomas

      All I have to say is that this one scary looking pope. I don't think I would let him in a room with a child, hat or no hat.

      May 16, 2011 at 9:55 am |
    • James

      I still fail to see how it's appropriate for a church that doesn't pay taxes to be able file for bankruptcy protection. If you're not paying taxes that fund our legal system, you shouldn't be able to benefit from it.

      May 16, 2011 at 9:58 am |
    • Fat Bobby Joe

      Truthfully, he looks like the Emperor from Star Wars, after he had his fight with Yogurt.

      May 16, 2011 at 10:01 am |
    • MyTrueView

      My friend I see u as a Non catholic but a Christian....
      What u say is very true about most of the other Christian communities... they only make money...
      But NOT the catholic church... belive me it never will be like that coz if u know the structure of the Church and controlls u'll know what I'm saying...
      Also I'm pretty sure there are these abuses but all cannot be really true..
      The abuses has to be delt with the highest level but always remember that this is a Church and always keep in yr heart (If u are at least a Christian) that Jesus came to this world for sinners and NOT for the rightious.... (Jesus says only the sick who need the doctor) Even among Priest surely will have people who are sick coz they are human... So when they commit a crime, though they have to be punished the punishment has to be in contrast with brining them back to the correct path through the love of the lord coz that is the teaching of our lord.... This is what we all have to remeber and when it comes to that there will be lot of people who would have similar opinion if the Church acts like how Police does.... then we violate the very teachings of our lord... If u do not understand ... I wont blame u coz lot of people are being mislead by money hungry small Chritian communities who do not come from the apostals of the lord and it is only the Catholic church which does and pls read well about our church before u criticise the Holy father coz he is not self appointed NOR he has contested a currupt election to be in this place today

      May 16, 2011 at 10:08 am |
    • CatholicMom


      All through the Bible vestments and priests were important. Jesus Himself had his robe ‘without seam’ taken from Him. Such robes were meant for Kings. Priests are standing in for Jesus Christ here on earth [persona Christi] so that Jesus Christ can continue with His Priesthood. Here are a few verses to help you understand the ‘why’ about the robes, mitered diadem, and such:
      John 19:23
      The soldiers therefore, when they had crucified him, took his garments, (and they made four parts, to every soldier a part,) and also his coat. Now the coat was without seam, woven from the top throughout.
      Remember the soldiers drew lots to see who would win the royal seamless robe…..
      Remember also that the Old Testament is hidden in the New Testament and the New Testament is the fulfillment of the Old Testament.
      Isaias (Isaiah) 22:21
      And I will clothe him with thy robe, and will strengthen him with thy girdle, and will give thy power into his hand: and he shall be as a father to the inhabitants of Jerusalem, and to the house of Juda.

      Ecclesiasticus 45:12
      He gave him a holy robe of gold, and blue, and purple, a woven work of a wise man, endued with judgment and truth:

      Exodus 28:39
      And thou shalt gird the tunick with fine linen, and thou shalt make a fine linen mitre, and a girdle of embroidered work.

      Wisdom 18:24
      For in the priestly robe which he wore, was the whole world: and in the four rows of the stones the glory of the fathers was graven, and thy majesty was written upon the diadem of his head.

      Ecclesiasticus 45:9
      And he girded him about with a glorious girdle, and clothed him with a robe of glory, and crowned him with majestic attire.

      1 Machabees 10:20
      Now therefore we make thee this day high priest of thy nation, and that thou be called the king's friend, (and he sent him a purple robe, and a crown of gold,) and that thou be of one mind with us in our affairs, and keep friendship with us.

      Genesis 41:42
      And he took his ring from his own hand, and gave it into his hand: and he put upon him a robe of silk, and put a chain of gold about his neck.

      All for the glory of God!

      May 16, 2011 at 10:23 am |
    • Jesus

      If somebody told you 20 years ago that one day the Cardinals would choose a former Hitler Youth member as Pope, you would think that was a bad joke. Well, Herr Josef Ratzinger, the notorious Hitler Youth member who defected in 1944 (when it was clear that the 3rd Reich was kaput) is now Pope. Had Hitler won the war or cut a peace treaty in 1942, Herr Ratzinger would have done quite well as some top administrative manager or high ranking military official. Instead he wound up as CEO of a Church.

      May 16, 2011 at 10:25 am |
    • ConcernedPerson

      catholicMom and TrueView – oh please, cut the B. S. I grew up catholic, was an altar boy, went to catholic HS and college. If you would truly study religion, you would see that the whole story of jc is just a poor rehash of prior myths.

      Sacrifices, son of god, dying for man, virgin births, resurrections and conquering death, water rites like baptism, creation myths, floods, gods caring particularly about humans – THESE ARE ALL MYTHS, copied by christians, and rather boringly so. There is NOT ONE UNIQUE IDEA in the bible – NOT ONE, and definitely not one idea that is in anyway truly god-like.

      As they say, "One man's mythology is another man's religion." ........WAKE UP FOR YOUR CHILDREN'S SAKE!!!!!

      May 16, 2011 at 10:36 am |
  15. Joel

    "Religion is like a p e nis. It's fine to have one. It's fine to be proud of it. But please don't whip it out in public and wave it around. And please don't try to shove it down my children's throats."

    May 16, 2011 at 9:45 am |
    • Todd (another one)

      Is it May 21 yet? Can these catholics be raptured, please?

      May 16, 2011 at 9:59 am |
  16. Sparki

    What idiotic reporting! The guidelines tell the bishops to ALWAYS follow the law about reporting (see third paragraph). But the rest of the story claims that the guidelines tell bishops they don't have to report. WHICH IS IT? Since this is CNN and CNN always likes to paint the Catholic Church in the worst possible light, I can guess.

    May 16, 2011 at 9:43 am |
    • Jesus


      May 16, 2011 at 9:57 am |
    • Todd (another one)

      No, it's the priests always SHOULD follow the law. But since the pope isn't spelling out any penalties or backing this up with threats, the "mandate" is quite optional

      May 16, 2011 at 9:58 am |
    • Fat Bobby Joe

      The church has been covering their derrieres for centuries on this well known issue.

      You could say that the catholic church condones and even promotes this behavior.

      May 16, 2011 at 9:59 am |
    • chefdugan

      No, you are absolutely wrong. The Catholic Church paints ITSELF in the worst possible light. It doesn't need any help from anyone.

      May 16, 2011 at 10:02 am |
    • yep

      Agreed and local law in most places would stipulate priests as mandated reporters REQUIRING them by law to report crimes of that nature. CNN this is absolutely poor journalism.

      May 16, 2011 at 10:02 am |
    • maggie

      The Catholic Church paints itself in its own worst light. That it is "just now" coming out with procedures on how to deal with reports of abuse after decades of abuse is appalling. I would think that a man of the cloth would not need specific instruction on how to report a crime but if reporting it to the police isn't part of the procedures as reported, only a cynic would claim that it was the media's fault. It is either there or it isn't.

      May 16, 2011 at 10:04 am |
    • Impending Invasion of Drunken Aardvards

      Interesting how these priestly mandatory reporters never once have reported these incidents to the police.

      May 16, 2011 at 10:12 am |
    • i cant belive is not butter

      its sickning to me sparki how you can deffend these unjust guidelines......the curch tells us to live by gods word and to choose rite from wrong,yet" they don't have to report the pervs and molesters hideing in their church? Fff that..and yes I said it fffff that.....what kind of priest are we letting our children teach about god ? Our our selfs.....if a priest comitssss molestaition, he should suffer the consequenses of the law.....they should rotttttttt in jail...shmmmmmm its upsetting that our own goverment would let such law be passed...what on earth y'all!!

      May 16, 2011 at 10:18 am |
    • Owl96

      This was a world wide directive. If the local country and/or community does not REQUIRE the event to be reported, the bishops are not required to report it to local officials. If the local laws (such as all communities in the U.S.) require reporting the event, then the directive says to report it. However, even where the reporting requirements do not exist, there is no directive to not report it.

      May 18, 2011 at 2:10 pm |
  17. yy

    They shud cut their dics

    May 16, 2011 at 9:42 am |
  18. DenverVet

    If they choose to ignore these things they will be paying out more and more money. Love the Church but WRONG is WRONG.

    May 16, 2011 at 9:42 am |
  19. i cant belive is not butter

    Its funny how big brother is blocking and deleting some of these coments...geees what kind of world are we living in!......my god help us all

    May 16, 2011 at 9:34 am |
    • Justin

      Definitely not a free-speech one. Why post a religious topic and not let it be commented on? But Justin Bieber's article had hundreds of replies! Cnn, time to step up to the plate and just accept the fact that some people have opinions different than your own. Grow up.

      May 16, 2011 at 9:41 am |
    • Thomas

      What kind of world? Well the type of world where you are posting on a commercial website owned by CNN and their parent companies. Their website, their forum, their rules, they decide.

      That type of world

      Don't like their rules, then post your opinions on your own website where YOU can set the rules. Sound fair?

      May 16, 2011 at 9:53 am |
    • Impending Invasion of Drunken Aardvards

      No human moderates your comments. It is not a conspiracy. You are not being oppressed.

      The moderator is a lame computer program that blocks posts if any words in it have naughty words within them. "Consti-tution" has a t-it" in it, so you must add a space or a hyphen. "Circu-mstance" had c-um in it, and it gets moderated. Other naughty words do that too. Simply be like a pubescent boy and look everywhere in your post for t-its and c-um and you will catch the most common ones. No human will ever look at your post, so the "awaiting moderation" is misleading. The only time the will is if someone is really lame and hits the "report abuse" button, but that causes the lousy program to start putting posts in the weirdest places.

      I wonder why so many people instantly assume a conspiracy when they see the "awaiting moderation" response?

      May 16, 2011 at 10:09 am |
  20. i cant belive is not butter

    Good topic cnn " for once, !!now make a note of these pervs deffeeennnddiing these child molesting priests.....

    May 16, 2011 at 9:31 am |
    • Jesus

      It really is a white wash. If a Bishop knows that he has got a molester in his ranks, he DOESN'T have to report it to the police.

      May 16, 2011 at 9:55 am |
    • dude

      i don't know what planet these GUYS live on, but in my state, clergy are MANDATORY reporters of abuse: if they know, they MUST report, no ifs, ands, or papal excuses!!!! Pr!ck!

      May 16, 2011 at 10:02 am |
    • InFormed99

      The Church operates 'above' mans law. It follows the laws of god.

      May 16, 2011 at 10:40 am |
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About this blog

The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.