Rome, Italy, Feb 16, 2016 / 09:45 am
After recent media reports suggested the Vatican is telling bishops to cover up sexual abuse, the Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors has said that reporting abuse is not just a civil responsibility, but a moral one.
"The crimes and sins of the sexual abuse of children must not be kept secret for any longer. I pledge the zealous vigilance of the Church to protect children and the promise of accountability for all," Cardinal Sean P. O'Malley, president of the commission, said in a Feb. 15 statement, quoting Pope Francis.
On behalf of himself and the other members of the commission, the cardinal affirmed that "our obligations under civil law must certainly be followed."
Even beyond these civil requirements, "we all have a moral and ethical responsibility to report suspected abuse to the civil authorities who are charged with protecting our society," he said.