Churches defend clergy loophole in child sex abuse reporting

              The 33 highlighted states on this map show where clergy are exempt from laws requiring them to report information about alleged child abuse to officials. More than 130 bills have been introduced to amend child sex abuse reporting laws and none of them succeeded in closing the clergy loophole.
              FILE - An illuminated sign outside St. Michael Archangel Catholic Church in Houston reads, "Go, and from now on do not sin any more" on April 11, 2019. (AP Photo/Wong Maye-E, File)
              FILE - Demonstrators watch as former Cardinal Theodore McCarrick leaves Dedham District Court after his arraignment, Friday, Sept. 3, 2021, in Dedham, Mass. McCarrick has pleaded not guilty to sexually assaulting a 16-year-old boy during a wedding reception in Massachusetts nearly 50 years ago. (AP Photo/Michael Dwyer, File)
              FILE - Kristy Johnson speaks during a news conference June 28, 2018, in Salt lake City. Johnson, a California woman suing her father for sexual abuse that occurred during her childhood, says Mormon church leaders allowed the sexual assault to continue by failing to report it to police. Johnson said that her now-deceased mother told local church leaders about the abuse multiple times during the 1960-1970s. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer, File)
              FILE- MJ and her adoptive mother sit for an interview in Sierra Vista, Ariz., Oct. 27, 2021. State authorities placed MJ in foster care after learning that her father, the late Paul Adams, sexually assaulted her and posted video of the assaults on the Internet. (AP Photo/Dario Lopez-Mills, File)
              FILE - Rep. Angela Romero speaks on the steps of the state Capitol, during a rally to gain support for removing the clergy exemption from mandatory reporting in cases of abuse and neglect, on Friday, Aug. 19, 2022, in Salt Lake City. (Rick Egan/The Salt Lake Tribune via AP, File)
              FILE - Republican Rep. Merrill Nelson speaks during a special session at the Utah State Capitol, April 18, 2018, in Salt Lake City. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer, File)
              FILE - The angel Moroni statue atop the Salt Lake Temple is silhouetted against a cloud-covered sky, at Temple Square in Salt Lake City on Feb. 6, 2013. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer, File)
Churches defend clergy loophole in child sex abuse reporting