Vatican City - The bishops of Australia have indicated that they will resist the Royal Commission's proposal that priests be legally obligated to disclose details of sexual abuse revealed in the confessional, facing criminal charges if they don't.

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PHOENIX – The Diocese of Phoenix said retired Bishop Thomas J. O'Brien, who headed the diocese from 1982 to 2003, "categorically denies" an allegation that he sexually abused a young boy while the youngster was in grade school in the late 1970s and early 1980s.

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ST. PAUL, Minn. – Bishop Michael J. Hoeppner of Crookston "categorically denies that he in any way forced, coerced or encouraged" a candidate for the permanent diaconate not to report his claim of sexual abuse against a priest of the diocese, the Diocese of Crookston stated May 9.

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VATICAN CITY – Recent exchanges in the media between the head of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith and a former member of a papal advisory commission have highlighted a lack of clarity and transparency when it comes to finding better ways to make bishops and religious superiors more accountable for how they handle allegations of sexual abuse.

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MEXICO CITY – A priest in the southern Mexican state of Oaxaca has been sentenced to 16 years and 6 months in prison for sexual abuse, marking the first ever conviction of a Catholic clergyman for such a crimes in the country.

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SYDNEY – Five Australian archbishops testified before a government commission on child sexual abuse, reiterating apologies and taking responsibility for actions that occurred before they were church leaders.

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VATICAN CITY – Cardinal Raymond L. Burke, a church law expert and former head of the Vatican's highest court, arrived in Guam Feb. 15 as the presiding judge in a church trial investigating allegations of sexual abuse levelled against Archbishop Anthony S. Apuron of Agana.

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VATICAN CITY – Pope Francis has condemned clerical sex abuse as an “absolute monstrosity” and asked victims and their families for forgiveness on behalf of the Catholic Church.

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SYDNEY – As an Australian government commission heard testimony on how the Catholic Church responded to decades of child abuse in its institutions, church leaders were asking the same questions as the government: How could this have happened? How can we keep it from happening again?

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AUGUSTA, Maine – A former priest previously convicted of sex abuse of an altar boy was indicted on 29 counts of sexual misconduct involving two other boys during his time as a priest based in the Archdiocese of Boston.

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SYDNEY – Catholic experts told an Australian government commission that the church needed to re-examine its culture of clericalism if it wanted to help put an end to clergy sexual abuse.

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VATICAN CITY – In reaction to a new book claiming that Pope Francis has in fact done little to combat clerical sex abuse, and that Cardinal George Pell is implicated, the Australian cardinal's office has dismissed the claims as motivated by opposition to reform.

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VATICAN CITY – In a letter sent to bishops around the world for the feast of the Holy Innocents, Pope Francis lamented the many children who suffer from war, slavery and various forms of abuse, including within the Church.

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Thirteen years ago, amid allegations he molested a 16-year-old boy, the Rev. Kevin Gugliotta was suspended from ministry in New Jersey, his case referred to the Vatican for guidance because of an unusual circumstance.

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