The bizarre policy in Italy is backed by the Vatican, according to this article from The Independent in the United Kingdom:

An excerpt.

Italy’s bishops have adopted a policy, with backing from the Vatican, that states they are not obliged to inform police officers if they suspect a child has been molested.

The Italian Bishops’ Conference said the guidelines published on Friday reflected suggestions from the Vatican’s office that handles sex abuse investigations.

Victims have denounced how bishops systematically covered up abuse by moving priests while keeping prosecutors in the dark.

Only in 2010 did the Vatican instruct bishops to report abuse to police — but only where required by law.

Italian guidelines cite a 1985 treaty between the Vatican and Italy stipulating that clergy aren’t obliged to tell magistrates about information obtained through their religious ministry. The guidelines remind bishops, however, they have a ”moral duty“ to contribute to the common good.

Retrieved March 31, 2014 from http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/europe/italys-bishops-pass-vaticanbacked-rule-stating-they-do-not-have-to-report-if-a-priest-has-molested-a-child-9222501.html

And, in response SNAP writes:

Can the Pope honestly wonder why his institution is allegedly “picked on” about child sex crimes and cover ups? It’s mind-numbing callousness like this that forces rational citizens to question the sincerity and integrity of Catholic officials across the globe.

With the stroke of a pen, Francis could order the world’s bishops to call police when they know of or suspect that boys or girls are being raped. Instead, Francis’ staff gives Italian bishops permission to ignore or conceal the rape of boys or girls.

Shame on every single Catholic Church employee in Italy who passively or silently accepts this cruel policy without fighting or denouncing it.

Retrieved March 31, 2014 from http://www.snapnetwork.org/rome_vatican_blesses_bishops_plan_to_not_report_child_abuse