WASHINGTON - The U.S. Catholic Church spent a total of $150.7 million on child protection efforts and to address allegations of clergy sexual abuse of minors in dioceses and religious orders between July 2013 and June 2014.

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VATICAN CITY - The question of accountability for bishops and religious superiors who fail to follow through on protecting minors from abuse was "put on the table" during the latest meeting between Pope Francis and his international Council of Cardinals, said the Vatican spokesman.

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TORONTO - The Pan Am Games will be a big deal for Toronto. They will cost $1.4 billion. With less than 100 days to go, more than 350,000 tickets have been sold. With athletes coming from 41 countries, it’s bigger than the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver — the largest multi-sport event ever held on Canadian soil.

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NEW YORK - Cardinal Edward Egan, who served as archbishop of New York through the trauma of the 9/11 terror attacks and the clergy sex abuse scandal but was best known for administrative acumen that helped solidify the finances of the sprawling archdiocese, died March 5. He was 82.

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VATICAN CITY - Pope Francis deplored the "abuses and inhuman acts" of Islamic State militants, and called on all religious leaders to condemn them "unanimously and unambiguously." He also said he hoped to travel to the Middle East to comfort persecuted Christians there.

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VATICAN CITY - A new kind of ghetto needs the church's presence and people's solidarity: the "digital slum" where cyberbullying and online pornography and abuse run rampant, said speakers at a Vatican news conference.

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VATICAN CITY - Pope Francis told authorities from the Dominican Republic that the “truth” must prevail in the investigation of a former Vatican ambassador who was convicted and defrocked for abusing teenage boys in the Caribbean country.

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October 2, 2014

Zero tolerance

In a widely reported statement Pope Francis recently told bishops to protect minors with “utmost care” and warned that anyone who failed would “be held accountable.” 

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Ten years ago, a friend took his then eight-year-old son to Buffalo to see their favourite football team, the St. Louis Rams, play the Bills. Both father and son are diehard Rams fans and the son wore a Rams jersey to the game. 

Published in Robert Brehl

A showdown between Pope Francis and a conservative bishop in Paraguay is heating up as the bishop rejected charges that he sheltered a priest accused of sexual misconduct, and claimed that Pope Benedict XVI himself vouched for the suspect cleric just days before his election as pope in 2005.

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VATICAN CITY - The Vatican has ordered a Roman Catholic diocese in eastern Paraguay to remove a priest accused of sex abuse in the United States and to restrict the activities of the bishop who hired him.

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VATICAN CITY - More than a meeting and homily, Pope Francis laid out a clear road map for the Church when he celebrated Mass and welcomed abuse survivors to the Vatican.

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VATICAN CITY - The UN Committee Against Torture urged the Vatican to impose "meaningful sanctions" on any Church authority who fails to follow Church law in dealing with allegations of sexual abuse and asked that Church officials worldwide be required to report abuse allegations to local police.

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DUBLIN - The Vatican's chief prosecutor of sex abuse crimes said the Church needs to do more to develop the process for punishing bishops who fail in their duty to protect children.

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VATICAN CITY - As Pope Francis prepares to address the new Vatican panel charged with tackling the clergy sexual abuse scandal, victims are demanding the Catholic Church take immediate action to expose perpetrators and punish the bishops who protected them.

Published in International