Pope Francis Punish Bishops
First, the directive makes no bones about it: Bishops must report sexual abuse to the authorities, whether they are required by law to do so or not.
Here in the United States, virtually every jurisdiction has statutes requiring such transparency and accountability. That is not so everywhere in the world, however. The pope’s guidance makes it clear the church views sexual abuse as a crime requiring law enforcement action.
No less important is the manual’s second effect: It affirms the pope’s dedication to ridding the church of predators shielded by Catholic hierarchy. If anything, the fact that for so long church officials actively protected predators — insisting they could rehabilitate them — is as outrageous as the offenders’ own actions.