World

Pope's sex abuse point man urges bishop accountability, failure to punish harms credibility

  • Cardinal Sean Patrick O'Malley, of Boston, attends a press conference at the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome, Monday, Feb. 16, 2015. Pope Francis' point man on clerical sex abuse says the failure of the church to punish bishops who covered up for pedophiles has seriously hurt its credibility and that the church must now lead the way by "humbly making the commitment to accountability, transparency and zero tolerance." Cardinal Sean O'Malley said canon lawyers and theologians were reviewing proposals for the pope on holding bishops accountable that were developed by Francis' commission of experts, which he chairs and includes two abuse survivors. (AP Photo/Isabella Bonotto)

    Cardinal Sean Patrick O'Malley, of Boston, attends a press conference at the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome, Monday, Feb. 16, 2015. Pope Francis' point man on clerical sex abuse says the failure of the church to punish bishops who covered up for pedophiles has seriously hurt its credibility and that the church must now lead the way by "humbly making the commitment to accountability, transparency and zero tolerance." Cardinal Sean O'Malley said canon lawyers and theologians were reviewing proposals for the pope on holding bishops accountable that were developed by Francis' commission of experts, which he chairs and includes two abuse survivors. (AP Photo/Isabella Bonotto)  (The Associated Press)

  • Cardinal Sean Patrick O'Malley, of Boston, speaks to the media during a press conference at the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome, Monday, Feb. 16, 2015. Pope Francis' point man on clerical sex abuse says the failure of the church to punish bishops who covered up for pedophiles has seriously hurt its credibility and that the church must now lead the way by "humbly making the commitment to accountability, transparency and zero tolerance." Cardinal Sean O'Malley said canon lawyers and theologians were reviewing proposals for the pope on holding bishops accountable that were developed by Francis' commission of experts, which he chairs and includes two abuse survivors. (AP Photo/Isabella Bonotto)

    Cardinal Sean Patrick O'Malley, of Boston, speaks to the media during a press conference at the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome, Monday, Feb. 16, 2015. Pope Francis' point man on clerical sex abuse says the failure of the church to punish bishops who covered up for pedophiles has seriously hurt its credibility and that the church must now lead the way by "humbly making the commitment to accountability, transparency and zero tolerance." Cardinal Sean O'Malley said canon lawyers and theologians were reviewing proposals for the pope on holding bishops accountable that were developed by Francis' commission of experts, which he chairs and includes two abuse survivors. (AP Photo/Isabella Bonotto)  (The Associated Press)

  • From left, Karlijn Demasure, Executive Director of Centre for Child Protection, Father Hans Zollner, President of Centre for Child Protection, Cardinal Sean Patrick O'Malley and professor Sheila Baronessa Hollins attend a press conference at the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome, Monday, Feb. 16, 2015. Pope Francis' point man on clerical sex abuse says the failure of the church to punish bishops who covered up for pedophiles has seriously hurt its credibility and that the church must now lead the way by "humbly making the commitment to accountability, transparency and zero tolerance." Cardinal Sean O'Malley said canon lawyers and theologians were reviewing proposals for the pope on holding bishops accountable that were developed by Francis' commission of experts, which he chairs and includes two abuse survivors. (AP Photo/Isabella Bonotto)

    From left, Karlijn Demasure, Executive Director of Centre for Child Protection, Father Hans Zollner, President of Centre for Child Protection, Cardinal Sean Patrick O'Malley and professor Sheila Baronessa Hollins attend a press conference at the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome, Monday, Feb. 16, 2015. Pope Francis' point man on clerical sex abuse says the failure of the church to punish bishops who covered up for pedophiles has seriously hurt its credibility and that the church must now lead the way by "humbly making the commitment to accountability, transparency and zero tolerance." Cardinal Sean O'Malley said canon lawyers and theologians were reviewing proposals for the pope on holding bishops accountable that were developed by Francis' commission of experts, which he chairs and includes two abuse survivors. (AP Photo/Isabella Bonotto)  (The Associated Press)

Pope Francis' point man on clerical sex abuse says the failure of the church to punish bishops who covered up for pedophiles has seriously hurt its credibility and that the church must now lead the way by "humbly making the commitment to accountability, transparency and zero tolerance."

Cardinal Sean O'Malley said canon lawyers and theologians were reviewing proposals for the pope on holding bishops accountable. The proposals were developed by Francis' commission of experts, which he chairs and includes two abuse survivors.

O'Malley spoke Monday at the Pontifical Gregorian University, which is leading the church's efforts to educate a new generation of priests about preventing abuse and helping survivors. O'Malley said the older generation must also know the importance of accountability "and the consequences of not having accountability."