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Vatican Tells Bishops To Crack Down On Sexual Abuse

Pope Benedict XVI attends a meeting with cardinals at the Vatican, 19Nov2010
The Vatican is preparing new guidelines for Roman Catholic bishops to combat sexual abuse of children by priests in the wake of a series of highly publicized abuse scandals around the world.

Cardinal William Levada, who heads the Vatican office that deals with sex-abuse cases, informed some 150 cardinals of the guidelines at an extraordinary meeting that included an appearance by Pope Benedict XVI on November 19.

A Vatican statement said Levada discussed recommendations for prevention programs, better screening of priests, and the need for bishops to collaborate with civil authorities in reporting abuse.

Victims of sexual abuse by priests held a protest in Rome to coincide with the Vatican meeting.

They said the Vatican has not done enough to protect them and other children.

compiled from agency reports