Italy's Catholic bishops 'morally obliged' to report abuse

The Italian Catholic Church hierarchy says it has approved guidelines establishing a "moral obligation" to report cases of clergy sex abuse to police.

The Italian bishops' conference approved the guidelines during an assembly that ended Thursday. The text wasn't immediately released but the official in charge of child protection, Monsignor Lorenzo Ghizzoni, said it called for reporting credible accusations even though Italian law doesn't designate clergy as mandated reporters.

Italy's church — which Pope Francis heads as bishop of Rome — has been well behind the curve on confronting clergy abuse, with multiple cases of abuse and cover-up.

This week, the mother of a victim wrote an open letter calling for the resignation of the powerful archbishop of Milan, who has admitted he transferred her son's predator to another parish.