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Annual audit of church abuse allegations shows work still needed


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WASHINGTON (CNS) -- The 14th annual report on diocesan compliance with the U.S. Catholic Church's "Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People" shows that church leaders have taken steps to help many find healing as victims of clergy sexual abuse, but there is still work to be done.

Introductory remarks in the 2017 report urge church leaders not to assume that "sexual abuse of minors by the clergy is a thing of the past and a distant memory. Any allegation involving a current minor should remind the bishops that they must rededicate themselves each day to maintaining a level of vigilance," wrote Francesco Cesareo, chairman of the National Review Board, which oversees the audits.

The newly released report -- based on audits conducted between July 1, 2015, and June 30, 2016 -- shows that 1,232 survivors of child sexual abuse by clergy came forward with 1,318 clerical abuse allegations in 132 Catholic dioceses and eparchies. The allegations represent reports of abuse that occurred from the 1940s to the present.

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