US Roman Catholic bishops are expected to vote to preserve the core tenet of their so-called one strike and you're out policy to protect children from sexually abusive priests, even as they fine-tune provisions to give themselves greater discretion.  While the revised policy would bar guilty priests from ministry, victim and lay advocates say other proposed changes let the bishops off the hook in terms of accountability.

The bishops voted overwhelmingly on June 17 for a five-year extension of their landmark policy barring any priest from ministry who has ever molested a child.  Despite widespread concerns that a zero-tolerance philosophy was too punitive and flew in the face of Catholic teachings about forgiveness, many bishops said they had no choice but to recommit to it in order to regain the trust of the faithful.