Pope Francis (L) greets cardinal Angelo Bagnasco during a Profession of Faith with the Bishops of the Italian Episcopal Conference on May 23, 2013 at St Peter's basilica at the Vatican. AFP PHOTO / FILIPPO MONTEFORTE
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A leading Italian cleric on Saturday defended the decision to adopt a Vatican-approved policy which exempts bishops from having to report cases of suspected child sex abuse to the police.The Church has repeatedly been accused by victims of covering up abuse by priests and simply moving predator clerics from one diocese to another rather than reporting them, thereby putting other children at risk.Bishops in possession of information on possible abuse cases have been required by the Vatican to report to the authorities since 2010, but only in those countries where they are required to do so under national law.
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