U.S. Roman Catholic bishops voted 187-5 to keep the church's policies on sexual abuse of children, adding some changes, including two revisions proposed by Boston Cardinal Sean O'Malley.
Bishops are to follow civil laws about reporting sexual abuse accusations against fellow bishops — as they are expected to do for priests — and are to follow federal statute guidelines that outlaw pornographic images of children younger than 18. A previous proposal had included only children under 14.
A statement criticizing the current decisions appeared on BishopAccountability.org. An excerpt: "Despite revelations in numerous dioceses showing that abuse has been continuing under the bishops' current abuse policy and that the policy needs to be overhauled, the bishops ... chose to rubber-stamp a nearly identical policy for the future."
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