Sex abuse cases

Pope clarifies bishops' role in sex abuse cases

The Catholic Church has been criticized for not holding bishops accountable for failing to act in cases of clerical sex abuse, and victims' families have been lobbying the Vatican to take a tougher stance on the issue.

In an apostolic letter published Saturday, the pope explained canon law already allows bishops to be removed "for serious reasons." But the Pope made clear that among those reasons is the failure of a bishop to report cases of sexual abuse of minors and vulnerable adults.