Pope OKs plan to investigate, judge bishops who fail to act on abuse

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June 10, 2015

Pope Francis gestures as he leaves his general audience in St. Peter's Square at the Vatican June 10. (CNS photo/Paul Haring) See POPE-AUDIENCE June 10, 2015.

Pope Francis gestures as he leaves his general audience in St. Peter’s Square at the Vatican June 10. (CNS photo/Paul Haring)

VATICAN CITY (CNS) — Pope Francis has approved new procedures for the Vatican to investigate and judge claims of “abuse of office” by bishops who allegedly failed to protect minors and vulnerable adults from sex abuse.

The procedures will include a new “judicial section” within the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith that has a papal mandate to “judge bishops with regard to crimes of the abuse of office when connected to the abuse of minors,” the Vatican said in a written statement June 10.

The announcement came at the end of a series of consultations the pope had with his international Council of Cardinals, which met at the Vatican June 8-10.

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