Catholic bishops keep abuse prevention policy



BELLEVUE, Wash. (AP) — U.S. Roman Catholic bishops have renewed their prevention plan for clergy sex abuse with only minor changes.

The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops voted overwhelmingly Thursday to keep the policy during a meeting in Bellevue, Wash.

Child pornography was added to the definition of sex abuse. Church leaders are also now instructed to report any abuse claims against fellow bishops to police and the pope’s American ambassador.

The bishops originally adopted the policy in 2002 at the height of the molestation scandal. The centerpiece is a promise to bar credibly accused clergy from any church work. Critics had pressed the bishops for more dramatic changes after recent allegations about some dioceses keeping accused priests on assignment.

Separately, the bishops approved a statement explaining Catholic teaching against physician-assisted suicide.