Mexico City: Pope Francis’ top adviser on clerical sex abuse says bishops have a “moral and ethical responsibility” to report all cases of suspected rape, molestation and other abuse to police even where local laws don’t require it. A statement Monday from Boston Cardinal Sean O’Malley goes beyond the Vatican’s current guidelines for bishops. Those 2010 guidelines say bishops and superiors must report suspected cases where civil reporting laws require it.
O’Malley heads the pope’s abuse advisory commission. He issued the statement after a recent course for new bishops on handling abuse cases featured a French monsignor who reportedly said bishops don’t have to report cases. He said it is up to families and victims to do so.