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The Nation

Protections follow clergy abuse scandal

December 14, 2007|From the Associated Press

CHICAGO — Roman Catholic dioceses nationwide have taught more than 6 million children to protect themselves from sexual predators and have conducted 1.6 million background checks on workers in response to the clergy sex abuse crisis, according to a report released Thursday.

Auditors hired by America's bishops found that nearly all of the 195 U.S. dioceses have policies for reviewing molestation claims and reporting allegations to the authorities, the National Review Board, a lay watchdog group, said in the report.

The Diocese of Lincoln, Neb., and four Eastern Rite districts called eparchies have not participated in the audits.

Despite improvements, church leaders must do more, including measuring the effectiveness of the safeguards they've put in place and deepening the church's understanding of what victims suffer, the panel said.

"Discussion with victims provide evidence of serious needs that still must be addressed in order for the victims and their families to find the healing that they need," the board said.

The report is a review of the board's work on the fifth anniversary of its founding by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops.

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