"The Italian bishops' conference encouraged its members to cooperate with civil authorities in cases of clerical sexual abuse, but said the bishops have no legal obligation to report abuse allegations to the police or other civil authorities.
In addition, the new Italian church norms say the bishops "are exonerated" from releasing to the state documents in their possession or information connected with abuse cases.
Because a bishop is not a public official and is not charged with duties of "public service, he does not have the juridical obligation -- save for a moral duty to contribute to the common good -- to report to civil judicial authorities news he has received concerning illicit matters" of sex abuse, the guidelines said..." "The guidelines also stated that the Holy See and the Italian bishops' conference as a whole hold "no responsibility, direct or indirect, for eventual cases of abuse."
Bridget Mary's Response:
What a cop out! The Vatican and bishops hold the top administrative positions in the church! How can they claim "no responsibility, direct or indirect...etc.?
So much for transparency and accountability in the Catholic Church!
The Vatican is quick to punish women priests and our supporters, but does nothing to pressure the Italian bishops to turn over priests abusers as a matter of justice and care for Catholic youth who are victimized by clergy. Jesus would weep at this sad state of affairs.
Where is their pastoral heart reflecting the Heart of Christ's love and compassion?