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Boston Archdiocese, Clerical Sex Abuse Advocates React To U.S. Bishops' Policy Change Delay

Boston Roman Catholic Archdiocese Cardinal Sean O'Malley speaks to the media in Braintree, Mass. (Bill Sikes/AP)
Boston Roman Catholic Archdiocese Cardinal Sean O'Malley speaks to the media in Braintree, Mass. (Bill Sikes/AP)
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The Archdiocese of Boston said in a statement Monday that Cardinal Sean O'Malley will keep advocating for new steps to hold bishops accountable, and greater transparency when it comes to clerical sex abuse.

That reaction came after the Vatican requested that U.S. bishops delay any votes on policy changes in the church until a global meeting of church leaders in February. Bishops including O'Malley are meeting this week in Maryland and had planned to consider a series of measures including a new code of conduct for bishops.

The archdiocese says the delay was "unexpected."

"Cardinal O’Malley will continue to vigorously advocate for revising the Dallas Charter to hold bishops accountable, greater transparency including the release of names of clergy accused of abuse and increased lay involvement and leadership," it said in the statement.

But advocates for sexual abuse victims say the delay by Pope Francis shows a lack of concern on behalf of the Catholic Church, including Boston-based attorney for clergy sex abuse victims Mitchell Garabedian.

Garabedian is calling the conference "a continuation of a cover-up."

"This is just another example of how the Catholic Church is incapable of policing itself and why statutes of limitations must be amended in courts of law for the sake of society," Garabedian said.

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