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Italian bishops 'not legally obliged' to report pedophilia

But have 'moral duty to contribute to common good', says CEI

28 March, 14:14
Italian bishops 'not legally obliged' to report pedophilia (ANSA) - Rome, March 28 - Italian bishops do not have the "legal obligation" to report cases of child-sex abuse by priests to the judicial authorities, according to guidelines released by the Italian Bishops Conference (CEI) Friday. The guidelines said, however, that bishops had a "moral duty to contribute to common good". "Not having the role of a public official, the bishop does not have the legal obligation to report (cases) to the judicial authorities, aside from the moral duty to contribute to the common good," the guidelines read on child-sex abuse cases.

They added that bishops must take "special care" in selecting candidates for the priesthood.

They also stressed the importance of "rigorous attention to exchanges of information about candidates to the priesthood who move from one seminary to another". The Church's image has been tainted by child-sex-abuse scandals in many parts of the world, including Italy, in recent years.

Pope Francis has taken several steps to repair some of the damage, including the nomination of a new anti-abuse commission this month.

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