Europe

Pope's sex-abuse panel scores awareness victory in Vatican

  • Rev. Hans Zollner talks during an interview with the Associated Press in Rome, Monday, Sept. 12, 2016. Pope Francis' sex abuse commission has scored a victory within the Vatican: Members have been invited to address Vatican congregations and a training course for new bishops, suggesting that the Holy See now considers child protection programs to be an important responsibility for church leaders. The Rev. Hans Zollner, a commission member and head of the Center for Child Protection at the Pontifical Gregorian University, will join Bishop Charles Scicluna in addressing new bishops from "mission" territories such as Africa and Asia, where church leaders have often denied abuse was really a problem. (AP Photo/Gregorio Borgia)

    Rev. Hans Zollner talks during an interview with the Associated Press in Rome, Monday, Sept. 12, 2016. Pope Francis' sex abuse commission has scored a victory within the Vatican: Members have been invited to address Vatican congregations and a training course for new bishops, suggesting that the Holy See now considers child protection programs to be an important responsibility for church leaders. The Rev. Hans Zollner, a commission member and head of the Center for Child Protection at the Pontifical Gregorian University, will join Bishop Charles Scicluna in addressing new bishops from "mission" territories such as Africa and Asia, where church leaders have often denied abuse was really a problem. (AP Photo/Gregorio Borgia)  (The Associated Press)

  • Rev. Hans Zollner talks during an interview with the Associated Press in Rome, Monday, Sept. 12, 2016. Pope Francis' sex abuse commission has scored a victory within the Vatican: Members have been invited to address Vatican congregations and a training course for new bishops, suggesting that the Holy See now considers child protection programs to be an important responsibility for church leaders. The Rev. Hans Zollner, a commission member and head of the Center for Child Protection at the Pontifical Gregorian University, will join Bishop Charles Scicluna in addressing new bishops from "mission" territories such as Africa and Asia, where church leaders have often denied abuse was really a problem. (AP Photo/Gregorio Borgia)

    Rev. Hans Zollner talks during an interview with the Associated Press in Rome, Monday, Sept. 12, 2016. Pope Francis' sex abuse commission has scored a victory within the Vatican: Members have been invited to address Vatican congregations and a training course for new bishops, suggesting that the Holy See now considers child protection programs to be an important responsibility for church leaders. The Rev. Hans Zollner, a commission member and head of the Center for Child Protection at the Pontifical Gregorian University, will join Bishop Charles Scicluna in addressing new bishops from "mission" territories such as Africa and Asia, where church leaders have often denied abuse was really a problem. (AP Photo/Gregorio Borgia)  (The Associated Press)

Pope Francis' sex-abuse commission has scored a victory within the Vatican: Members have been invited to address Vatican congregations as well as a course for new bishops designed to teach them how to run dioceses, suggesting that child protection is now considered an important responsibility for church leaders.

Commission members praised the development as a breakthrough given that bishops have long been accused of covering up abuse by moving priests around rather than reporting them to police.

The presentations come after the Vatican was embarrassed last year when, during the annual "baby bishops" course, a French priest told bishops they don't need to report suspected abuse.

The commission head, Cardinal Sean O'Malley, swiftly corrected him, saying bishops have an "ethical and moral" obligation to report.