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Pope Francis recently made it mandatory for clergy to report sexual abuse to church superiors. AP Photo/Andrew Medichini

The Catholic Church is tightening rules on reporting sexual abuse – but not swearing off its legal privilege to keep secrets

Pope Francis is trying to address gaps in the regulatory processes of the Catholic Church. But clergy can still decide whether, and to what degree, to share information.
Members of Chile’s bishops conference, in May 2018, who say they are open to whatever Pope Francis proposes to overhaul the Chilean church devastated by a clergy sex abuse and cover-up scandal. AP Photo/Gregorio Borgia

Why the Catholic Church is so slow to act in sex abuse cases: 4 essential reads

Pope Francis has been accused of a cover-up in the sex abuse scandal involving Theodore McCarrick, a former archbishop. Experts explain why it's hard for the Catholic Church to hold clergy accountable.
Five hundred years ago, Martin Luther, a professor and preacher, published the 95 Theses, a list of debating points on the Christian religion which sparked the Reformation movement. (Jonathan Schoeps/Shutterstock)

The preacher who changed Europe: Reformation at 500 years

Historical accounts of Martin Luther skew or ignore debates about religion and make him hardly recognizable as a pastor and preacher. But his theology changed Europe.
Archbishop of Granada Francisco Javier Martinez and priests prostrate in front of the altar to seek pardon for sexual abuse in the Church at the cathedral in Granada, southern Spain, Nov. 23, 2014. Pepe Marin/Reuters

How the Catholic Church’s hierarchy makes it difficult to punish sexual abusers

The hierarchy of the Catholic Church requires nearly absolute obedience. This makes it difficult to speak up against superiors. And by the same token, superiors too can protect offending priests.

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