The Vatican spokesman has defended a revised set of rules on clerical sex abuse as an important and lasting response to abuse cases.
The Vatican issued its revised in-house rules this week, targeting priests who molest the mentally disabled as well as children and doubling the statute of limitations for such crimes. But the norms drew criticism by abuse victims who said there were few substantive changes.
Vatican spokesman the Rev. Federico Lombardi said Saturday that the church's response "will be lasting and have a profound impact."
But added that, while necessary, the law is not all. He said "we know that our commitment ... must be a long road."
© Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.