Italian diocesan "listening centers" for victims of abuse took reports from 89 people against 68 priests or other church personnel in 2020 and 2021, the Italian bishops' conference reported.

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VATICAN CITY -- At the age of 94, retired Pope Benedict XVI said he knows he will soon stand before God's judgment and he prayed that he would be forgiven for his shortcomings, including in handling allegations of clerical sexual abuse.

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ROME -- A cardinal who had served as an aide to now-retired Pope Benedict XVI and was present for his meetings with survivors of clerical sexual abuse said he "never found in him any shadow or attempt to hide or minimize anything."

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VATICAN CITY -- A Vatican editorial defended retired Pope Benedict XVI's record in fighting clerical sexual abuse after the release of a report that accused him of mishandling four cases during his time as archbishop of Munich.

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The Archdiocese of Montreal has received 75 formal complaints, 46 of which relate to abuse, dating back to 1950, according to the second quarterly report compiled by an independent ombudsman.

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LOURDES, France -- France's Catholic bishops have unveiled new measures to counter sexual abuse by clergy after an October report by an independent commission estimated more than 330,000 children had been abused since the 1950s.

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VATICAN CITY -- Pope Francis has abolished the obligation of secrecy for those who report having been sexually abused by a priest and for those who testify in a church trial or process having to do with clerical sexual abuse.

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NEW YORK -- Cardinal Timothy M. Dolan of New York said Sept. 30 he was "grateful and relieved" by the report of a comprehensive independent review of archdiocesan compliance with the U.S. bishops' "Charter for the Protection of Child and Young People."

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SYDNEY -- The Australian states of Victoria and Tasmania have become the latest in the country to pass legislation criminalizing priests who fail to report the abuse of children disclosed during confession. The country's six states and two territories are all expected have such laws in place in coming months.

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VATICAN CITY -- A specialized center at Chile's premier Catholic university can help the Catholic Church protect minors and vulnerable persons from the scourge of clerical sexual abuse, which has plagued the Catholic Church in the country and around the world, Pope Francis said.

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VATICAN CITY -- Vatican City State will have its own reporting system in place before the end of the year for flagging suspected cases of the abuse of minors and vulnerable people and instances of cover-up or negligence in handling such cases, the Vatican said.

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VATICAN CITY -- The Vatican has expanded its fight against sex abuse in the Church by giving all lay movements and associations a December deadline to submit formal guidelines and protocols for reporting and preventing cases of abuse.

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MANCHESTER, England -- An English church official "deliberately misled" a U.S. archdiocese into harboring a pedophile priest and helping him to escape justice for a quarter of a century, said a report from a child abuse inquiry.

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BALTIMORE -- Creation of a third-party system for receiving confidential reports of complaints against bishops was approved at the spring general assembly of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops.

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BALTIMORE -- The U.S. bishops are set to vote on a 10-point statement, "Affirming Our Episcopal Commitments," in which the bishops hope to regain "the trust of the people of God."

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