ROME - As the Vatican continues to work on policies to combat clergy sex abuse, a leading pontifical university in Rome hosted a conference this week on how the Catholic Church can better address the current crisis and released details of a new diploma program on protecting children.

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VATICAN CITY - A former Vatican nuncio will stand trial in a Vatican court on charges of the sexual abuse of minors and possession of child pornography.

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VATICAN CITY - More than 55,000 people have signed a petition calling for Cardinal George Pell to return to his native Australia and face a government commission on child sex abuse, after allegations that he tried to bribe the victim of a pedophile priest.

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Cardinal Francis George, recently retired archbishop of Chicago, died in his bed at home, as he said he would. In his latter years, the intellectual leader of the Catholic Church in the United States was famous for his bleak view of the future of religious liberty in America.

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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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CHICAGO - Cardinal Francis E. George, the retired archbishop of Chicago who was the first native Chicagoan to head the archdiocese, died April 17 at his residence after nearly 10 years battling cancer. He was 78.

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The “Pope of the Interview” strikes again: Pope Francis has given a lengthy — and fascinating — interview to a Mexican television station, which broadcast it on March 13 to mark the second anniversary of his election.

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VATICAN CITY - One reason the cardinals gathered in the Sistine Chapel elected Jorge Mario Bergoglio as Pope Francis two years ago was a brief but powerful speech the Argentine cardinal made shortly before the conclave in which he denounced the “theological narcissism” of the Roman Catholic Church.

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VATICAN CITY - Pope Francis has established a special body within the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith to speed up the process of hearing and ruling on appeals filed by priests laicized or otherwise disciplined in sexual abuse or other serious cases.

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VATICAN CITY - The Vatican denied Pope Francis had dismissed a controversial Paraguayan bishop because of his mishandling of sex abuse accusations, attributing the decision instead to other failings of governance and friction with fellow bishops.

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VATICAN CITY - The Vatican has placed a laicized papal ambassador under house arrest as he awaits a criminal trial for sexually abusing young boys.

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The Redemptorists of Canada have agreed to pay $20 million to settle claims from a sexual-abuse lawsuit filed in Quebec.

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DUBLIN - One of the Irish survivors of clerical sexual abuse who met Pope Francis July 7 described the encounter as a "huge vindication" for her.

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VATICAN CITY - The defrocking of a former Vatican ambassador is a “sign of the seriousness” with which Pope Francis and the Vatican are approaching the clergy sexual abuse scandal, according to the Holy See’s representative to United Nations agencies in Geneva.

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VATICAN CITY - A Vatican investigation has led to the expulsion of a former Vatican ambassador from the priesthood in response to allegations of sexually abusing minors.

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