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Legal loophole may be closing for bishops who hide sex abuse


VATICAN CITY — The legal loopholes that have allowed Catholic bishops to escape sanction when they cover up clergy sex abuse cases may be closing.

Two U.S. cardinals have confirmed that the Vatican is working on a "clarification" to a 2016 law that was supposed to hold bishops and religious superiors accountable when they fail to protect their flocks but never really did.

Cardinal Sean O'Malley of Boston told a press conference Friday during Pope Francis' sex abuse prevention summit that he had been "guaranteed" that the new document would "come out very soon." Chicago Cardinal Blase Cupich, in a footnote to a speech at the summit, said the document would "standardize" procedures within the various Vatican offices to investigate bishops and order their removal.

Francis' summit of church leaders continues Saturday.

The Associated Press

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