>> The Catholic Church in Australia has rejected laws that would force priests to report child abuse when they learn about it during a confession. On Friday, the country's top Catholic body said it did not accept recommendation from an official inquiry that priests should be compelled by law to report abuse to police.
And as Reuters' Byron Caye reports from Sydney, it's raising questions about which laws the Catholic Church is ready to apply to itself.>> Well, there's two main reasons why the church has rejected this recommendation. The first one is the most important reason, which is that the Church acts under what it calls Canon Law, which is the Catholic law, which is administered by the Vatican and the Pope.
And those laws currently still locate the confessional as a sacred place. The second reason is that the church leaders in Australia say this is simply impractical.>> The rejection sets the stage for a showdown between the country's biggest religion and government. So far, one state and one territory in Australia have already made it a crime for priests to fail reporting abuse heard about in the confessional.
The law follows a half decade inquiry in Australia, a so-called royal commission, into child sexual abuse in churches and other institutions. The inquiry began amid worldwide allegations the Catholic church has been protecting priests guilty of child sex abuse. Just weeks ago, a former Australian archbishop became the most senior Catholic cleric in the world to be convicted of concealing abuse.
Former Adelaide archbishop, Phillip Wilson, was ordered to serve a year under house arrest. He said he will appeal the conviction. Accusations of covering up abuse have this week risen all the way to the Vatican, after a US archbishop accused Pope Francis of knowing about sexual misconduct by an American Cardinal and doing nothing about it.