The head of the Catholic Church's leading academic center on preventing priestly sexual abuse says the #MeToo movement and the recent controversy over a Chilean bishop show the need for a broader understanding of and response to "the abuse of power and conscience."

The Rev. Hans Zollner spoke Friday at the graduation ceremony for students who have completed a course in safeguarding at the Jesuit-run Pontifical Gregorian University. Zollner is also a member of the Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors, Pope Francis' group of experts on sexual abuse.

Francis' defense of Chilean Bishop Juan Barros has sparked outrage. The Associated Press has reported that commission members hand-delivered a letter from an abuse victim to the pope saying that Barros witnessed his abuse by another priest and denied it.