The Vatican has made it clear for the first time that bishops and other high-ranking clergy should report clerical sex abuse to police.
The Vatican has insisted that this has long been the Catholic Church's policy. But in a new guide for lay readers posted Monday on its Web site, it made public for the first time an explicit policy of reporting abuse to law enforcement.
The guidelines read: "Civil law concerning reporting of crimes to the appropriate authorities should always be followed."
That phrase was not included in a draft of the guidelines The Associated Press obtained Friday. The rest of the guidelines follow previously known and public procedures for handling canonical investigations and trials of suspected abuse.
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